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.
Other Recommended Stories
The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is pleased to announce Sean J. Morrison, Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center, as incoming president of the ISSCR board of directors, immediately following the ISSCR’s annual meeting, June 24-27, 2015. Morrison will serve as president for ...
By Heather Noel The days at the hospital were lonely for Carson Leslie. At 14, he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancer targeting the brain. During The Covenant School student’s three-year battle, he rarely left his hospital room while in treatment. He died at 17. “In the beginning, he was all that and everybody ...
PLANO — As the counties north of Dallas have boomed in the 21st century, one area of growth is often overlooked: the poverty rate. According to a new study produced by Children’s Health System of Texas and the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas, the population of children in Collin, ...