Michigan Department of Community Health urges residents to get vaccinated against whooping cough

(WXYZ) - The Michigan Department of Community Health is urging residents to get vaccinated against whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

The reminder comes as new pertussis cases surfaced this year.

Through the end of July, Michigan has seen 546 cases. That's an increase of 45% over the same period of time in 2013.

“Children are routinely recommended to receive a series of pertussis vaccine doses in infancy and early childhood,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive of MDCH. “Adolescents and adults should receive a booster dose of the vaccine. In addition, pregnant women should get a booster in the third trimester of each pregnancy to help protect newborns, who are most vulnerable to the illness in the first few months of life.”

Whooping cough [pertussis] is a respiratory infection that results in severe coughing and can be accompanied by vomiting and difficulty breathing.

“Part of the challenge,” Davis explained, “is that immunity to pertussis wears off, so getting a booster vaccine dose later in life can help extend the protection.  Our primary focus is on preventing the disease in babies -- they have smaller airways and less developed respiratory systems, which puts them at higher risk for severe cases as well as hospitalization and death from pertussis.”

For more information visit www.michigan.gov/immunize


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