Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – Expanded use of Tdap vaccine in adults.
Many people think pertussis (or “whooping cough”) no longer exists. Actually, it remains a poorly controlled illness. Since the 1980s, there has been a steady increase in pertussis cases in the US. Infants less than 6 months of age and young people aged 10-19 years have been particularly affected. There have even been some localized outbreaks in other states; California experienced a state-wide epidemic in 2010. Even though most children get protection through routine childhood vaccinations, the protection fades over time. This can lead to the risk of getting infected – in fact, most adults are not protected!
How can you protect yourself and your loved ones from this very contagious illness? The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated with the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine.
If you are a new parent, grandparent, health care provider, or you work with children, the vaccination will help to protect you as well as the children you are around. Talk with your health care provider about getting a booster dose of Tdap vaccine. New recommendations have expanded the age to include adults over age 65. Also, the dose of Tdap can be given earlier than the traditional 10-year mark of Td (Tetanus and diphtheria) – so talk to your health care provider today!
For more information or to hear the sounds of pertussis (whooping cough), log onto www.cdc.gov/Features/Pertussis.