BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's the sound parents dread: a deep barking cough that signalswhooping cough. There's been a serious case this summer right herein western New York.
Brianna Haag is recovering from whooping cough. It started as aminor cough, but then got much worse.
Brianna's mom, Jennifer, said, "She was coughing more and shewas starting to turn a little dusky, a little purple around themouth and the nose."
Brianna has spent two weeks in Women and Children's Hospital,including a week in the ICU. Her pediatricians have seen more casesthan usual this year.
Dr. Colleen Mattimore of WNY Pediatrics said, "Every coupleyears there's a little flurry and we get minor outbreaks. This onecame, worried me a little bit more because of what's happeningacross the country."
The worst outbreak is in California, but 18 other states havehad more cases of pertussis already this year than they had in allof last year. So has upstate New York, primarily in the Syracusearea. Most cases don't need hospitalization, but whooping cough canbe serious.
"Sometimes there's a perception in today's world, with today'smedicine, that if babies get sick that we can save them, andsometimes we can't," said Dr. Mattimore.
Seven kids have died in California. We can protect kids byvaccinating them, and their parents and grandparents. Brianna wastoo young to be vaccinated; she probably caught it from herfather.
"He's a teacher, and he ended the school year with what wethought was just a little bit of a cold, and he had a nagging coughthat went on for a number of weeks," explained Jennifer.
Kids need a series of five vaccinations, and adults needboosters.
Jennifer said, "We had no idea that there was a pertussisvaccine for adults,"
"The protection wears off. So it's very important for middleschool, high school kids, young adults and adult caregivers ofbabies to get a pertussis booster," said Dr. Mattimore.
Pertussis is an uncommon disease, thanks to vaccinations, andsome people have developed a false sense of security about the needfor vaccination, and maybe even a fear that vaccine side effectscould be harmful. But the vaccine is safe, and it works, and evenadults should be vaccinated to protect kids.
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