Rise in whooping cough cases calls for vaccinations

By: Christine Nicholson Email
By: Christine Nicholson Email

DENISON, TX -- Vaccination for pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is one of several required school shots.Grayson County Health Department request early immunization for kids. But with a recent rise in whooping cough cases, health officials now urge vaccinations for everyone.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of whooping cough cases have increased each year from 1980 through 2005. A recent study reports a 44% increase in cases nationwide with confirmed cases in Oklahoma.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial disease affecting infants, children and adults. Symptoms include uncontrollable, violent coughing that create a whooping sound as patients struggle for air.
Health officials report 970 cases so far this year in New York alone, compared to 931 for all of 2011.

The CDC says cases increased the most among kids and teens ages 10 through 19 and in infants less than 6 months old.

Grayson County Clinic Nurse Nancy Grella says the disease is contracted through infected coughs or sneezes but the severity of symptoms vary with the age of the patient.

"For adults who are healthy, it's an inconvenience," says Grella. "It's a nagging lasting cough, I mean it can lead to pneumonia but a lot of times it doesn't. The population is really impacts are the babies because the babies are too young too have all of their immunizations."

She added, "Infants that get whooping cough, get so sick and they cough so hard that...bless their little hearts, it can kill them. So there is a big push throughout the United States to make sure all of those around an infant are immunized with the tetanus that contains pertussis."

The Sherman office of Grayson County Health is holding a "Back -to-School" shot clinic on Monday August 27th which includes the pertussis vaccination.

You can also come anytime from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesdays in Denison at 205 N. Houston (903) 465-2878
or Wednesdays and Thursdays in Sherman at 515 N. Walnut (903) 893-0131.

For even more detailed immunization information, visit their website at http://www.co.grayson.tx.us/ or the Center for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/.

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