Babies are vaccinated against Pertussis, or Whooping Cough. It can be fatal in young infants. That's why the Centers for Disease Control is so concerned that the number of cases of Whooping Cough are on the rise.
|A Closer Look at Whooping Cough|
After tracking 30,000 cases since 1980, the CDC reports in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that the incidence has jumped almost 50% in recent years.
Dr. Masahiro Tanaka of the CDC says that almost all the increase was among young infants under five months-old. He explains that these infants were too young to be fully vaccinated against the cough.
Babies younger than six months are at special risk because the vaccine is given in a series of shots, the first at two months. Then, they get their second dose at four months, but they're not fully protected until that third shot at six months.
So, the CDC is emphasizing how important it is for babies to get those shots right on schedule but also as families gather for the holidays, the CDC recommends that until a child has that full protection, young infants should avoid close contact with anyone who has a persistent cough. It may not be a violent cough in adults, but if it's nagging and consistent, adults may have Whooping Cough and not know it, unaware that they're contagious.
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