”The Big Whoop” – 2012 Becoming Record Year For Whooping Cough

July 23, 2012

 

Although you may not be aware of it, 2012 is on track to become a record breaking year, but not in a good way. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has reported nearly 13,000 cases of pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough.  Nine children have died so far this year.  Click Here to watch the staggering NBC Nightly News report on how experts predict this year to be the worst outbreak in whooping cough in fifty years.

Medical experts suggest that the pertussis virus spreads mainly through adults who may have received the proper immunization when they were young, but did not follow up with a booster shot years later. Unfortunately, some vaccines simply wear off, exposing people, especially children, to very hazardous viral and bacterial infections.

With nine deaths already this year, experts are on alert.  “That’s more than twice as many as we had at this time last year,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center For Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.

The early symptoms of whooping cough are very similar to a common cold, including a persistent cough. But after a few weeks, the coughing can become severe. Infants start to sound like they are having trouble breathing and a “whooping sound” occurs when they cough.

The best way to prevent your child from contracting pertussis, is to keep them away from anyone who has the infection, but that’s not as easy as it sounds, because many people can carry the disease for several weeks without even knowing .

The CDC offers several precautionary tips for parents concerned about the infection, and they differ depending on the child’s age.

This recent eye opening news is certainly a wake up call.  Experts hope it will not only cause parents to react and protect their own children, but also engage adults to respond when it comes to protecting themselves, as well.