Whooping Cough Cases on the Rise

    September 26, 2013
    Erika Watts
    Comments are off for this post.

Cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, are rising in some areas of the United States. Nevada is one area that has seen a rise in whooping cough cases in 2013, with Clark County having 103 reported cases of the illness so far this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the best way to avoid whooping cough is by getting a vaccine.

For those who aren’t too familiar with whooping cough, the CDC describes it as “a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants.” While many people receive a whooping cough vaccine as a child (doses of the DTaP vaccine start at 2 months), the CDC also recommends that all adults have their vaccine updated, since it can wear off over time.

While cases of pertussis in the U.S. have generally declined over the years, some parts of the country are seeing higher rates of whooping cough over previous years. According to Las Vegas Review Journal, around 16,000 whooping cough cases have been reported to the CDC as of September 15, with 13 states, including Nevada, reporting an increase compared to 2012. No deaths resulting from whooping cough have been reported in Nevada.

Nancy A. Wood, an infection-prevention specialist at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in New York, says that the reason whooping cough cases are rising is because some people aren’t getting vaccinated. “Older people who haven’t gotten whooping cough vaccination are getting whooping cough and then giving it to the children,” Wood said. Wood also says that some people choose not to vaccinate their kids, which leaves them “vulnerable.” Wood didn’t specifically mention if the areas in Nevada with higher whooping cough cases have a lower rate of people with the vaccination.

Most new parents do get their children vaccinated for whooping cough, but the numbers of parents who hare having their children opt out of the vaccination are increasing. One reason listed for opting out is the potential side effects. According to the CDC, while rare, possible side effects include “seizure, high fever, serious allergic reaction, long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness and permanent brain damage.” Choosing not to vaccinate is fairly controversial, as seen below. Do you think everyone should be vaccinated? Respond below.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

While whooping cough is relatively rare, it’s helpful to know the signs of symptoms of the illness, which the Mayo Clinic provides.

Once you become infected with whooping cough, it can take one to three weeks for signs and symptoms to appear. They’re usually mild at first and resemble those of a common cold:

Runny nose
Nasal congestion
Red, watery eyes
A mild fever
Dry cough

After a week or two, signs and symptoms worsen. Thick mucus accumulates inside your airways, causing uncontrollable coughing. Severe and prolonged coughing attacks may:

Provoke vomiting
Result in a red or blue face
Cause extreme fatigue
End with a high-pitched “whoop” sound during the next breath of air

Image via YouTube

  • ginny g

    My grandson is in 5th grade he had all his shots for wc and he still got wc from one of his classmates. Can anyone tell me why?

  • http://Whoopingcough Janet

    None of my 3 children are vaccinated for anything. We did our research before making this choice and even consulted a Chemist with a PhD.

    They all had Whooping cough and were ages 1, 3, 5 and all survived, it lasted 6 weeks and to care for them I tried to keep them quiet and yes I was a stay at home Mom. Vaccines are used for convenience sake so parents do not have to miss work.

    I think the statistics need to say how many of these infected people were vaccinated. The effectiveness of vaccines is around 80%. My children are now in their 20’s and live a healthy life. What you eat and how you live has more to do with getting ill than lining the pockets of Drug companies to “maybe” keep you well.




    YES. Adults need to get their shots ,they are the one who spread it.my daughter had it for 2 months and spent a week in the hospital.she is only 4 months old.adults get the shot

    • Jimmy Lee

      Agree. This is one of those things where even if you think the vaccine has got stuff in it not good for you, you have to weigh the risks and take the lesser of the evils. People make a stink about drs and stuff but I know a lot of drs who are good and only have their patients interests at heart and know that unless the risks outweight the benefits my dr is not going to recommend it.

  • Tim Cliffe

    You are not just putting your own children at risk when you don’t vaccinate, but everyone else’s children as well. The notion that vaccination is merely a question of convenience is, not to put too fine a point on it, stupid. It’s a question of life and death. No, most cases of flu or whooping cough or measles do not result in death — but some such cases do, and the more people who are unvaccinated, the more likely it is that there will be widespread outbreaks that will kill some children.
    It is truly astonishing how ignorant some people are about the relative risks of vaccination versus disease. If no one were vaccinated against whooping cough, far more children would die of the disease than are ever harmed by the vaccine. Somehow this basic fact seems to elude many seemingly intelligent people.
    I suppose I should be more gentle in my assessment if I want to persuade anyone — but the anti-vaccination crowd is like the climate-change-denial crowd: uninterested in facts or evidence. There isn’t much point to arguing with them, because their minds are utterly impervious. It does seem to me, however, that parents who do behave responsibly should try to bring social pressure to bear on the anti-V folks. Make it clear you hold them responsible for the rise in incidence of preventable diseases like whooping cough.

  • clet hakne

    get the dam shot.