The Houston Chronicle reports confirming six deaths and 1,153 cases as of Aug. 31 in Texas from pertussis, commonly known as the whooping cough. Texas’ death toll accounts for nearly half of the deaths from the disease nationwide so far this year. Whooping Cough had previously been eradicated from the U.S.
Why is this outbreak occurring? Experts give two reasons: i) a less robust vaccine, used for pertussis since 1991, and ii) an increase in the number of people not getting vaccinated.
Who is most at risk for infection? Infants. Infants get a series of DTaP vaccines between 2 and 15 months of age , but may not be fully immune until the last vaccine is administered.
What can I do? Even if you yourself don’t care about getting whooping cough, get vaccinated to protect the babies of your friends and families!