Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Whooping Cough Risk & Kids Who Miss Vaccinations

It's important to get all doses without delay, researchers say

continued...

In 2012, the United States had the most whooping cough cases since 1959 -- 41,000 illnesses and 18 deaths, mostly in infants, according to the CDC.

Pertussis cases may be increasing for several reasons, study author Glanz said. Besides undervaccination of infants, immunity is also waning because the effectiveness of the vaccine declines over time. This may account for the increase of pertussis among teens, he said.

"There is also recent evidence that the booster shot is only moderately effective," Glanz said, adding that a more effective booster vaccine is needed and perhaps a more effective initial vaccine as well.

"We also need better messages to help concerned parents make the best decision for their children, which is to get their vaccines on time," he said.

Teens and adults should receive a booster shot to protect themselves and unvaccinated infants, according to the CDC. In addition, pregnant women should be vaccinated during each pregnancy.

Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said adults are just as vulnerable to the disease as kids. "There are adults who are having grandchildren who are instructed that they have to be immunized before the grandchild is born," he said.

In 2010, nearly 28,000 cases of pertussis were reported in the United States but many more go undiagnosed and unreported, according to the CDC.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow