For the first time in half a century, whooping cough is back. California alone has had 2,700 cases. It’s a nasty disease for youngsters, but is life-threatening for infants. CA has also had seven babies die of the malady. There is a vaccine for it, but it can’t be given until 2 months of age and can take all the way to five years old to totally protect some kids. So why are we seeing so much nowadays?
It’s not totally because kids aren’t being immunized, though a lot of kids aren’t protected. Much of the new disease is hitting young adults and older who WERE vaccinated but their coverage has lapsed. They get the disease, but because their airway is larger and because their cases are often milder due to past injections, they don’t get as sick. But they pass the infection along to the under covered or unvaccinated.
So here is my plea. If you have ANY contact with young children (2 and under), please, PLEASE! Not only immunize your kids, but talk to your doctor about getting a booster for yourself and the other adults in the family. Remember, the baby you help may be….well, it doesn’t matter. Isn’t being safe to any baby around you worth a tiny stick? Bet your doctor will give you a sucker if you’re a big person and don’t cry.
Please help us get this once almost wiped-out disease back on the road to extinction.