The recent outbreak in Kansas of whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis) has grown with an additional 21 cases of the disease being reported in Johnson County, Kansas, during the past week, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the disease to 111. The Johnson County health department has issued a warning (pdf) about the outbreak, requesting that children and adults get the vaccine and to be aware of symptoms. To prevent the spread of the disease, the health department is requesting that people who are being treated for the disease with antibiotics stay home for 5 days, and those we are refusing to be treated, stay home for 3 weeks.
In 2011, the county only had 11 cases, an increase in the disease that has cropped up through out the country. More outbreaks have occurred in the last few years as parents started denying the efficacy and safety of vaccines. Additionally, adults, even if vaccinated (DTaP, pdf) previously, can have their immunity to pertussis lapse, which allows these adults to spread the disease to children who have not been immunized or who are too young (around 2 months) to have started the vaccine
Most of the cases in the county have affected people in fifth through eighth grade. The most vulnerable to the disease are the elderly, toddlers and infants. Approximately half of infants with pertussis are hospitalized and one in 100 will die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaccines save lives. Period, end of story.
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