Whooping cough, or pertussis, is an extremely contagious, easily preventable disease that has made its way into Ohio counties.
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The Ohio Department of Health says whooping cough is one of the most commonly occurring vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.
What is whooping cough?
Babies are more susceptible to the disease and often catch the ailment from a family member or caregiver, according to the ODH.
More than half of babies less than a year old who are infected by the bug must be hospitalized and about 1 in 100 babies are at risk of death from the coughing disease.
Who should be vaccinated?
Since 2007, Ohio has seen more than 650 cases of whooping cough every year, with a high of 1,858 cases in 2010.
The ODH says the best way to prevent pertussis is through vaccination. Health officials especially stress vaccination to anyone who comes in close contact with infants. There are two types of vaccines to protect against the disease – DtaP and Tdap. These two vaccines also protect against tetanus and diphtheria.
ODH Immunizations Program: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhPrograms/dis/immunization/immindex1.aspx
ODH Pertussis Pamphlet: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/ASSETS/13DC8390C92849D9B6E30500B6EB65FC/pertus10.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/pertussis