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
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have uncovered the mechanism cells use to find and destroy an organelle called mitochondria that, when damaged, may lead to genetic problems, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory disease, and aging. Understanding how this process works could potentially lead to new treatments ...
A tiny, ingestible sensor is helping doctors and families monitor patients' health and ensure medication compliance. Like many parents with teenagers, Tara Chamberlain feels the need to stay on top of her son's chores. Except that one of Izayah's chores is taking medicine essential to his survival following a kidney transplant. ...
A new way to fight multidrug-resistant bacteria by blinding them rather than killing them proved highly effective in a model of burn injuries, UT Southwestern Medical Center research shows. “In the United States, there are more than 1 million burn injuries and 100,000 hospitalizations annually. Up to 75 percent of the mortality ...