"Because immunity from early childhood vaccination decreases over time, adults and teens can become infected with pertussis repeatedly and transmit the disease unknowingly," said Dr. Gary Freed, Director of the Division of General Pediatrics at University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor and the chair of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. "A parent, grandparent or babysitter suffering from what seems like a cold can actually have pertussis and spread the disease to an infant."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that adolescents and all adults aged 19-64, particularly those who have close contact with a baby, be vaccinated with a single Tdap booster against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The ACIP also recommends the Tdap booster to protect adolescents between 11 and 18 years. In addition, vaccination is recommended for healthcare workers to help prevent the spread of infection to their patients.
Pertussis is the only infectious disease for which children are
routinely immunized that is on the rise. In 1976, a record low of 1,010
cases were reported compared to 25,000 by 2004. Often misdiagnosed as a
cold, pertussis may be vastly underreported. In 2004, more than 25,000
cases were reported, but the number of annual cases may be nearly one
million. To be fully protected against pertussis, every child needs to get
five doses of the DTaP vaccine by age seven. Pertussis is spread
|SOURCE Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases|
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