July 15, 2010

Whooping Cough Vaccine - DTaP

So in my class yesterday the topic was WHOOPING COUGH.  It is of importance for California because we have started to see a re-surgance of it lately, it has been labeled an epidemic.  It is important to understand that most of us consider an epidemic as a huge massive outbreak of disease and often we have a hard time treating that disease or the sheer number of people who have the disease.  But, another type of epidemic is in the case of whooping cough.  Whooping Cough used to be nearly extinct due to vaccines and so therefore even if a couple hundred persons get it (50,000 since 2005), it is considered an epidemic due to how serious it is, lack of treatments and the fact that it is avoidable

The reason an outbreak has been seen in WHOOPING COUGH is due to LACK OF VACCINATION, and even more important LACK OF BOOSTER VACCINES CONTAINING THE DTaP VACCINE (you get these when 11 or 12).  Over 50,000 cases have been documented since 2005!!!

When you are 12ish you are supposed to get a "booster" shot which keeps your childhood vaccines active and keeping them working.  But, the booster does not often contain the DTaP vaccine which is the booster for whooping cough.  So that booster must be obtained separate from the booster.  The second piece of the puzzle is due to a decrease in vaccination of children, and then these children contract the cough (previously extinct) and then pass it to the other "non-boosted"  youth AND adults.

Now when it comes to vaccination, I like to look at the benefits in particular; the SERIOUSNESS of the illnesses they prevent.

To illustrate this example, is one of the most contractible and serious preventable-diseases is whooping cough.

If you were standing in a large room speaking to 150 people, and you were infected with whooping cough approx 142 (95%) of those people would contract Whooping Cough.  Whooping Cough is spread via "aerosol," which means it spreads VERY, VERY, RAPIDLY through the air and your breath.

Whooping cough once contracted lasts 1 1/2 months to 3 months.  The cough starts as a regular upper respiratory failure, but after a couple weeks, it changes and the cough becomes so intense that it actually causes CONVULSIONS of the body, to the point where you have almost no control of yourself (almost seizure-like), this stage lasts approximately 2-4 weeks.  One of the biggest problems with whooping cough is not just the convulsions, but because it decreases your respiratory immunity it turns your lungs and body into a very susceptible breeding ground for other secondary infections.

So how is it YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN can avoid getting this disease? MAKE SURE TO OBTAIN THE BOOSTER SHOT CALLED "DTaP," AROUND THE AGE OF 14ish or if you never had had one at 14, This is because the whooping Cough Vaccine given for your kindergarten shots only lasts approximately 10 years, so once it wears off, if you come in contact with anyone who has it, YOU WILL GET IT and YOU WILL GIVE IT TO OTHERS AROUND YOU.

hope this was helpful and I didn't completely loose anyone, as I sometimes am unsure how to explain this stuff.


Jenn said...

Kim do you know the difference between Tdap and Dtap? Evi has had like 3 Dtaps and 1 Tdap and she got such I high fever (103.6) with the Tdap. Just wondering what is different?

JEN said...

I am so glad you are talking about this on here. Have you seen Natalie Norton's blog? natalienortonphoto.com

Well, anyway... she lost her 8 week old baby to whooping cough about 6 months ago. So SAD! I have been following her since about the time Gavin died and it is amazing HOW MANY PEOPLE DON'T THINK THIS IS IMPORTANT!

If even one life can be saved... why wouldn't you get your vaccine? I do not understand this. Anyway... So glad to see you post about it too. Spread the word!!

Renae said...

So, does that mean that we need to get a booster shot every 10 years? I'm sure I had my teenage booster shot, but I don't think I've had one since. Do I need to get it? Another question.. my 2 month old baby just got her first dose of that vaccine. Is she at least somewhat immune to it yet? Thanks Kim!

Renae said...

I don't know if my previous comment didn't go through, but I just want to clarify..so if we had the vaccine as a teenager, than we are fine as an adult? We don't need any more boosters?


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