Whooping Cough on the Rise:
Get Vaccinated Now!
State medical officials are urging the public not to ignore a recent warning that the country is headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than 50 years, according to this article in the Arizona Republic.
Cases in Arizona have been on the rise since 2007, and a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that nearly 18,000 cases have been reported nationwide so far this year, more than twice the number at this time last year.
Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health told Fox 10 news that adults need to get the vaccine every 10 years, not only for themselves, but to protect infants who are too young to be immunized.
Infants like Natalie Norton’s son Gavin who contracted whooping cough in 2010. He was too young to get the vaccine that would have protected him.
“One day there was a cough and it seemed suspicious so I took him into the doctor. Within ten days he was gone. It was a very rapid decline, it was a fierce, fierce disease.” Norton says Gavin’s decline was quick and terrible. She watched her 7-week-old son die.
Norton, who now lives in San Tan Valley, is spreading awareness about a vaccine for families with infants in the house according to ABC 15. She is encouraging anyone who is around babies to get the Tdap booster vaccine. She also said parents need to advocate for testing if they think their child may have whooping cough.
Nineteen Gilbert students have had to stay home from school for almost the entire month of February because they weren’t vaccinated when a mumps outbreak occurred. If those students still aren’t vaccinated on February 28th and an additional case is reported they will have to stay home even longer, according to this story on azcentral.com.
“Students who receive vaccination at least 14 days before returning to school can come back on Feb. 28 even if there is another mumps case, because it takes 14 days for the vaccination to take effect, said Bob England, Maricopa County public-health director.
However, if they have not been vaccinated, and another mumps case breaks out, they will need to stay out of school for another 26 days, he said.”