Whooping cough cases soar in Minn.

  • Article by: PAUL McENROE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 26, 2012 - 10:32 PM

Though effective, vaccine doesn't provide long-lasting immunity. Children ages 4-12 and in middle school might need booster shots.

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minn12Dec. 27, 12 1:24 AM

Ok, how many of these cases involve immigrant children whose parents don't believe in vaccinations? Seems to me this has been reported on before, but why not in this story?

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ElemmireDec. 27, 12 7:12 AM

The article is not about vaccination prevalence: it is commenting on infections in children and adults who have been vaccinated and may assume themselves to be immune. Vaccines vary in their effectiveness and duration. A co-worker of mine in Ecuador was shocked to get typhoid six months after being vaccinated, because she had thought a vaccine meant 100% immunity, not mitigated risk. This is a good discussion to have as part of the bigger picture of pertussis prevention and treatment.

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tsblodDec. 27, 12 9:15 AM

Two of my three fully vaccinated children contracted whooping cough earlier this year. When we brought the first child, age 9, to the doctor because we were alarmed by the violent coughing, the doctor dismissed it as allergies. We went back, to a different doctor, a few days later, after doing our own research and asked for a whooping cough test, which came back positive. The whole family took antibiotics, but our middle school aged daughter caught it anyway. Whooping cough is highly contagious but can be difficult for a doctor to diagnose because the patient is perfectly fine between coughing spells, and coughing spells may be infrequent. When a coughing spell does hit, and it may not be in the doctor's office, it is a little frightening to watch - our child would cough until breathless and sometimes vomit. Unless the doctor witnesses an attack in the office, he or she has to take the parents' word of the severity of the cough and then put together the clues and order a whooping cough test. We came to our own conclusions after listening to an online recording of a child with whooping cough - it sounded exactly like our youngest's child's cough. We could hardly believe it was possible because we knew the all the children had been vaccinated, but later learned that the vaccines are not as strong as they once were. So, there are a number of factors that are contributing to the spread of the disease: it is highly contagious, it is difficult to diagnose, and the vaccines children currently get are not strong enough to last until their next booster.

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mnmaggiemnDec. 27, 1210:32 AM

No vaccine lasts forever.

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zekefaxDec. 27, 12 3:24 PM

Minn12-- Of course some those getting sick may be children of immigrant parents who don't believe in vaccination but there are more than a few "full blooded Americans" who haven't recently immigrated who refuse vaccinations of all types too. In fact a presidential candidate from Minnesota in the last primary-election debates seemed to be more than a little bit against immunization! Also it doesn't take too much research to find out that many of the illnesses that we have counted on our miracle drugs to save us from, have their own should we call them "research laboratories or just evolution?), working to get around our favorite drugs used in the prevention of these illnesses. The baseball term 3 strikes and you're out is often used in other scenarios to identify a failure to get the job done! Have we "struck out?" Less potent vacines themselves strike one, refusal to take them or improperly utilize our drugs strike two, and the illnesses themselves altering their makeup to foil our drugs strike three. It remains to be seen just who will ultimately win this "game". Worries me a bit that in the long run the "little buggers" will destroy most of us before we too change.

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julann98Dec. 27, 12 8:18 PM

Not all children can take the whooping cough vaccine. My oldest child had a 15 min. seizure after his first DBT and we were advised not to give it to any of our kids.

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