Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious bacterial disease that can be prevented by vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised that we may be on track for the worst whooping cough year in five decades.
CDC's Sarah Meyer reported, "Rates of whooping cough, or pertussis, have continued to increase since reaching historic lows in the 1970s. By mid-July 2012, nearly 18,000 cases have been reported in the U.S."
Besides getting children vaccinated, the CDC recommends adolescents and adults - especially pregnant women - get a booster dose since they may no longer be immune. This can protect themselves, as well as young children and infants in their families. Whooping cough can be serious for people of all ages, but it is especially dangerous, even sometimes fatal, for infants. If you have questions, we advise contacting your family physician.