Whooping Cough, On The Rise Essay

680 words - 3 pages

Whooping Cough, On the Rise
Kelly Lucas
March 25, 2011

Kelly Lucas
Dr. Simin Shirzadi
EN140 Friday 5:30
March 25, 2011
Whooping Cough, On the Rise
Whooping cough also known as pertussis is a very contagious respiratory infection. During the first part of the 20th century, the disease was the leading cause of childhood illness and death. However, after the vaccination was introduced those numbers gradually declined throughout the 1970’s. Since that time, the numbers have been increasing, mainly among populations of children who are too young to have completed the course of their vaccinations as well as teens and adults whose immunity has worn thin. (The Mayo Foundation for Research, 2009)
Whooping cough is caused by bacteria. An infected individual coughs or sneezes, anyone nearby who breathes in the bacteria in the air can be affected. Once in your airways the bacteria grow and make toxins that prevent the respiratory tracts ability to sweep away germs. As a ...view middle of the document...

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention US Government, 2010)
Whooping cough is on the rise, and thought to be for 2 main reasons. One, the whooping cough vaccine received as a child eventually wears off. This leaves most teenagers and adults susceptible to the infection. Also, children are not fully protected until they receive 3 vaccination shots. This leaves infants 6 months and younger at greater risks. (The Mayo Foundation for Research, 2009)
Localized outbreaks of pertussis are not uncommon and occur throughout the year. Some examples of current activity in the United States include: January 1 through December 31, 2010, 9,477 cases were reported in California. Ten of those resulted in infant death. This is the most cases reported in 65 years. In Michigan, an increase was first noticed in 2008, through 2009, and continued to rise in 2010. Ohio also reported a rise in 2010. They reported 964 cases. This is the most reported cases in 25 years. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention US Government, 2010)
In conclusion, the best way to avoid or prevent whooping cough is with the pertussis vaccine. Doctors recommend vaccinating in a series of 5 injections. These are given to children at the following ages, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years. By age 11, the vaccine starts to wear off. Doctors recommend a booster shot at this age. As adults we can receive a 10 year tetanus and diphtheria vaccine that also includes protection against whooping cough. Not only will this protect the person but also prevents spreading the disease to infants and children they come into contact with. (Blachly, 2011)
This researcher believes that whooping cough is on the rise, and believes so due in part to some individuals being unable to protect themselves and their children with access to the vaccine. The cost of healthcare is also on the rise and makes it difficult to fully protect them or to get treatment if they contract the disease. Worldwide there are 30-50 million cases and about 300,000 deaths per year. More than half of infants less than a year of age who get pertussis are hospitalized. Proper vaccination seems to be the key to stopping the rise of whooping coughing the United States. Parents need to be proactive in obtaining vaccinations for their children as well as boosters for themselves.

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