Whooping cough on the rise before school starts

BOISE - There have been 117 confirmed cases of Pertussis also called whooping cough. In Ada County this year, sometimes affecting kids even if they've been vaccinated. 

"Unfortunately the vaccine is not perfect, and we do see people who have been vaccinated who still get a milder form of the disease," said Epidemiologist for CDHD Sarah Correll. 

Pertussis typically peaks every five years and this year is hitting one of those peaks. You might think it only affects infants and babies, but according to the CDHD, most of the cases this year have been of kids ages 13 to 18. 

"So those kids who received one when they entered junior high aren't due for another booster for quite a while," said Correll. 

Pediatricians warn that infants and babies, however, are not able to fight off the disease as quickly and they're harder to protect from it. 

"We give the vaccine to 2-month-olds, 4-month-olds, and 6-month-olds. We don't have an adequate amount of protection until after that six months injection," said Dr. Robert Lindsay 

The issue of high numbers of whooping cough becomes even more pressing as kids approach that first day of school, putting children in classrooms where other students could be carrying the bacteria. The Pertussis vaccine is on the list of required vaccinations for children attending school, so double check your kids have theirs. It won't just protect your child, but each of their fellow pupils as well. 

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