ANCHOR LEAD: A NEW OUTBREAK OF PERTUSSIS, OR WHOOPING COUGH, HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Whooping cough, known in medical parlance as ‘pertussis’ used to be a killer of many infants and young children, until widespread vaccination was established. But periodically, and just this week, an outbreak of the infection occurred in California with five deaths reported. Michael Crocetti, chair of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview, says some of the problem is waning immunity, and that can be overcome with revaccination.
CROCETTI: Children aged 11 and above are getting this thing called TDAP, which is tetanus that has pertussis in it. The thought is that they get a booster of pertussis at a time when their immunity would be going down. The thought would be that that would help protect us but maybe what’s going on is that there’s a new group of people we need to target. Maybe older, maybe young adults, maybe older adults, who haven’t received their TDAP and have waning immunity. :26
So if you or your children are offered TDAP, it may be a good idea to take it. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.