Whooping Cough Makes Fatal Resurgence In Texas
May 22, 2012
Whooping cough is making a deadly resurgence in Texas.
In all of 2011, there were 961 reported cases statewide. Through April of this year, though, there have been 424 cases, including one that resulted in the death of a Dallas child.
“Every cough he gets I get scared,” said Jasmine Eagle as she waited to have her toddler immunized on Thursday. “I hope it’s not that serious.”
Unlike some parents, Eagle is having her son immunized against whooping cough, or pertussis. But a lack of immunizations is causing an unsettling spike in the number of pertussis cases, doctors say.
“It could be it’s on the uptick right now,” said Dr. Jeffery Kahn of Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Certainly we’ve more pertussis at Children’s Medical Center than we did all of last year.”
Children’s saw 10 cases all of last year. So far this year they’ve seen 14. And 12 of those cases, including the infant death, were during the past month.
The Tarrant County Health Department has seen fewer cases: 30 through the end of April 2011 compared to 17 through April 2012.
Denton County’s cases, though, have soared from 14 at this time last year to 30 this year.
Doctors say it’s often the parent who develops whooping cough.
It’s just a nagging cough to the adult. But they may be unknowingly spreading the disease to their children. Even if parents were immunized as children, they should see the doctor again.
“Immunity to pertussis wanes over time and now there’s a recommendation, there has been for a few years now, to immunize adults against pertussis,” said Kahn.
Kahn said doctors recommend a battery of immunizations in infancy, but no child is too old to be immunized.
For tips from the state about pertussis, click here.
Did you enjoy this story?
If you would like to receive an email when new stories like this one are posted to our website, please complete the form below.
We won't share your information, and you can unsubscribe any time.
Other Recommended Stories
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have discovered a mutation that causes a rare systemic disorder known as X-linked reticulate pigmentary disorder (XLPDR) and, significantly, the unexpected cellular mechanism by which the mutation causes the disease. For Tom Vansyckle, who had sat with his sons in so many hospital rooms and ...
The cancer-battling kids at Children’s Medical Center are such incredible troopers. Having faced daunting treatments, loss of hair and being hooked up to mobile IVs, they take it all in stride. With their families at their side, they trust the wisdom and advice of their doctors and the team of healthcare providers without hesitation. ...
Four years ago, physician-scientist Dr. Kenneth Chen and his colleagues at Children’s Medical Center turned surgically removed kidney tumors – once threats to life – into new sources of information on cancer. They sequenced the genes of dozens of tumors, and now Dr. Chen will build on their discoveries with a new ...