Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on February 12, 2013 @ 7:50PM
Created on February 12, 2013 @ 5:47PM
Last year, the worst outbreak of whooping cough since the 1950's hit the country. New reports have now found the bacteria that cause whooping cough are becoming resistant to immunizations.
So, should that stop parents from vaccinating their kids? Even though these new studies are suggesting the bacteria have become resistant to the vaccines, doctors still said the best way to protect against whooping cough is to get the shot.
The Center for Disease Control reported more than 42,000 cases of pertussis and 18 deaths last year. Most of the cases were in kids under three months old, who were too young to be vaccinated.
One of the biggest issues with whooping cough is that it can be easily spread. If you or your kids don't have up to date vaccines, your family could be at risk. In fact, the easiest way to spread it is from parent to child.
The good new is there's some things you can do to avoid that. The biggest thing to do is to keep up with all your shots. Another thing is to make sure all of your family members wash their hands often, and keep your house clean.
"A lot of parents change vaccine schedules, they're not following the American Academy of Pediatrics or the CDC guidelines for immunizations. We also know with pertussis in general, through time, even though they've been immunized through the vaccine or the disease itself, that decreases with time. So, it's even more important to keep up on the recommended schedule, so we're not putting our children at an increased risk," said Dr. Amanda Pennington, a pediatrician with Davis Health Systems.
If you do think your child may have whooping cough, doctors said to immediately take them to their family doctor to be tested.
More Information: Whooping Cough Outbreak: How To Keep Kids Safe
Whooping cough was once a terrible menace to U.S. children, with hundreds of thousands of cases reported annually. Then a vaccine drove cases down, and the illness became thought of as rare and even antiquated. But it never totally disappeared, and now there's been a spike in cases. With nearly 18,000 cases so far this year, health officials say this is shaping up to be the worst national epidemic in more than 50 years for the highly contagious disease. Click here to read tips on how to keep your child safe
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