Health Watch — Vaccinations: Whooping cough

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about vaccinations adults may need to keep up with. Although widespread vaccination had drastically reduced the number of cases of whooping cough, this childhood disease is on the rise again, and adults may need to be vaccinated again if they care for young children.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, may be relatively mild in adults, but it can be deadly for infants. While infants are vaccinated, it may take a while for them to develop full immunity. Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, an obstetrician and gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says new mothers and anyone else caring for an infant under a year old should get a whooping cough booster so they don’t risk infecting a young child who doesn’t yet have full immunity.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.


February 2008

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