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Whooping Cough Outbreak Update

Sep 05, 2012 - 21 comments

I found this great article on vaccination in this month's edition of Parenting Magazine.  I wanted to share it with all you other parents out there.

Is there a whooping cough, measles, or mumps crisis in your community?

If parents choose not to vaccinate their kids, that's their problem right?  Nope....it's your problem, too, because it makes your family more vulnerable.  Even just one case of these serious illnesses can be dangerous.  Whooping cough (aka pertussis) outbreaks in particular are at their highest level in 5 decades, and the infection can be life threatening to infants who have not received all three doses of the vaccine, which is given at 2, 4 and 6 months.  Actress Amanda Peet's younger daughter Molly, contracted it when she was 5 months old.  She's fine, but the experience rattled her mom enough to become a spokesperson for the vaccine advocacy organization Every Child by Two, a partner in the United Nations Foundations Shot Life campaign, which helps kids in developing countries gain access to vaccines.  Cases of measles and mumps have also spiked in the past few years.  "These are all vaccine preventable infections, but some parents wrongly believe that the vaccines are more risky than the diseases" says Mary Anne Jackson, MD, section chief of infectious disease at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas City, MO.  Your child's risk of getting infected depends partly on where you live.  If too many kids have gone without vaccines, localized outbreaks can spread quickly and more easily.

Get Your Own Booster, Mom!

The severity of the whooping cough epidemic is partly due to the fact that the current vaccines effectiveness begins to diminish after about 5 years.  All pregnant women and any adults in contact with children need a pertussis booster shot, so talk to your Dr. about it.

Now my 2 cents.  The more I read about how many people are not vaccinating their children, the more alarmed I become.  Vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing anything, and the real value and protection lies in the majority being vaccinated.  Some of these preventable diseases are reappearing and it scares the heck out of me.  Yes, it's your right to choose not to vaccinate, but you have to decide if your child has the right to lead a healthy life too.  I find myself becoming more outspoken about this issue as I consider it a public health issue.  I worry about my child and all children.

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by Moma_Cher, Sep 05, 2012
Great article, well said as always!

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by JennyB0125, Sep 05, 2012
Love it! Thanks for sharing!

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by adgal, Sep 05, 2012
Thanks ladies.  I think I am just getting frustrated with the whole thing.  People keep telling me it is their right to not vaccinate and well, that's fine.  But what about the rights of my child and the other children in their classrooms, playgrounds, etc.  Kids can die from these diseases.  My local Public Health Nurse says people have forgotten how horrible these diseases can be and have a false sense of security thinking they have been wiped out.  Not so, they were just held dormant because of vaccine!  Now we are seeing them creeping back.

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by nursegirl6572, Sep 05, 2012
AMEN adgal!  I feel the same way!  In the last 1-2 years, there has been a HUGE surge of pertussis, especially on the west coast of the US.  

My local Public Health Nurse says people have forgotten how horrible these diseases can be and have a false sense of security thinking they have been wiped out.  Not so, they were just held dormant because of vaccine!  Now we are seeing them creeping back.


My local Public Health Nurse says people have forgotten how horrible these diseases can be and have a false sense of security thinking they have been wiped out.  Not so, they were just held dormant because of vaccine!  Now we are seeing them creeping back.



So well said and worth repeating, twice!!!

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by melimeli, Sep 05, 2012
by 10 year old and my 15 year old both got whooping cough this summer and are still coughing 2 months later.  They were both vaccinated who knows how they got it but I was pissed!  

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by adgal, Sep 05, 2012
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels so strongly about this issue.  And Mel, I'm sorry the girls got sick.  I am glad that they are recovering though.

I think part of my problem with this whole issue is that I cannot find any legitimate reason NOT to vaccinate kids.  I know that there are a small percentage of kids who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.  I feel so badly for them because they are almost totally reliant on the fact that other kids are vaccinated.  And I can even understand why some parents stagger the vaccines - worried about overloading the immune system.  I didn't do that, but I can respect why some parents would.  But to just not vaccinate at all?  I do not understand why?  It makes no sense to me.  

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by melimeli, Sep 05, 2012
I can't either.  It makes me sick that parents would put children at such risk.  it is crazy

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by Moma_Cher, Sep 05, 2012
I feel like it's not fair if I had to treat my children, shouldn't everyone else? (except of course the few medical exceptions)

Funny thing is that the same people who won't vaccinate their kids will be the first ones in line clamoring for the inoculation when it reaches epidemic proportions.  So selfish!!!

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by Pum67, Sep 05, 2012
My son is still recovering from whooping cough (he's 8) and he was vaccinated so I am completely in agreement with you guys. My friend's little girl has SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) and although she has been vaccinated this is the kind of disease that will kill her. She already needs to use a coughing machine when she has a cold. It drives me bananas that people don't vaccinate their children.

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by melipops, Sep 05, 2012
I have friends who don't vaccinate and say it say it is thier choice. Sometimes I tell those people my children aren't allowed to play with thier children and that it is my choice.It makes me so angry, sad and worried:(

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by nursegirl6572, Sep 05, 2012
People's arguments don't hold up in water...there's the school of thought that vaccinations cause autism...never been proved, or even close to being proved.  It's a conspiracy theory.  Studies have shown vaccines to be safe, with only little risk.  On the contrary, the HUGE number of parents refusing the vaccinate their kids is strongly believed to be directly related to the reemergence of diseases that had been cut down to nearly nothing.  THIS is a great article:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104523437


Another great article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/us/21vaccine.html

12 cases of measles...9 of those in children were NOT innoculated.  Measles had been almost completely erradicated, yet the surge of parental refusals is changing that.  I mean, we're going go bring back measles?  That just makes me sick!!

I have strong strong feelings about this.  The Pertussis situation has gotten BAD!


Risk vs benefit...it's a no brainer!

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by adgal, Sep 05, 2012
Where I live there are absolutely no vaccines required for public school.  There are so many of us involved in trying to change that....petitions, letter writing to the media and the school board, you name it.  It frustrates me that I cannot protect my child.  

I remember when my son was born, my parents were just dying to have me bring him to see them.  My mom came out when he was born, but my dad couldn't come.  Getting to my parents involves a 5 hour flight.  No way was I taking him on a plane until after his 4 month vaccines.  I mean, I kept him from his grandparents because I needed to know he was protected (planes are a great place to catch things).  I was that worried about it.  And I'm not a germaphobe at all, but there had started being some outbreaks of whooping cough, and it scared me.  I just don't understand why anyone would knowingly put their child at risk.  

Even if there was truth behind the autism link (and I believe fully that there is not), I would still pick autism over death.  Any day of the week.  Kids don't die of autism, but they do die of so many of these horrible diseases.  People just have to look at what happens to so many kids in developing countries - they are dying, and of these diseases.  Why do some want to have that happen here.  

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by Ecologic, Sep 05, 2012
I had my husband and my mom vaccinated against pertussis before my son was born and I got vaccinated soon after he was born. Of course he is fully vaccinated for everything that doctors recommend, it's a no-brainer for us.

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by Mom2boys1980, Sep 06, 2012
I had all my vaccines when I was younger, both my boys have their vaccines up to date, my daughter is almost 3 months and already got her 2 months vaccines.

This article makes sense and really it's no brainer!  I think the fact that some parents don't get their children vaccinated is due to lack of irresponsibility and laziness. And for the parents that actually take their kids to get vaccinated to prevent getting sick with the disease i say great job!

My 6 year old last winter got strep throat over 10 times in a 2 month period. It got to a point that my family doctor did not want to prescribe anything as he had taken enough antibiotics and not to mention the money I spent since I don't have medical insurance and here in Canada our health card does not cover for those types of expenses.
My point is when my son had strep throat I kept him home for a week, in fact both my boys at that time had strep throat. Kept them home to prevent them from spreading. While other kids in their classes are sick and they are sent to school anyways because their parents don't want to miss a day of work. But in my case I had to miss a week. Same thing with vaccines we take our kids to get them while others don't and then they spread around! I think the government or the health departments should Make it mandatory ! Get your kids vaccinated !

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by Super_sally888, Oct 17, 2012
With great respect to everyone here, I would argue that vaccines are not always safe.  And are not one size fits all.

Here is a link to the discussions about a 21 yo girl who just died of cardiac arrest in the last day following vaccination.  http://community.diabetes.org/t5/Adults-Living-with-Type-1/Please-pray-for-Mia-and-keep-her-in-your-thoughts/td-p/287710/page/5

I would personally swear that my autoimmune issues started after HEP B vaccination (Hypothyroid, diabetes, and most recently it seems probably rhematoid arthritis). I am the only 1 of 2 persons in my family recieving that vaccine.  My otehr sister who had the vaccine also now has thyroid and other immune issues.

My daughter has major gut and immune issues - she was vaccinated with HEP B at birth but none after.  She has obvious autoimmune issues and so I could not (with the blessing of our pediatrician and allergy dr vaccinate her). The drs also agreed given family history that I should not vaccinate my new daughter.So far it is too soon to tell if she also has issues.

A very recent Canadian studyfrom the University of British Columbia which identified risk from aluminium adjuvents used in vaccines (including pediatric ones) : http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/1/prweb9146755.htm

Some other discussion:  there are references: http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Pro-Vaccine-Arguments

In 2010 the Cochrane Collaboration review reported that Flu Vaccines don't do what they are promoted to do, and do carry risks: http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-10-05/no-value-in-any-influenza-vaccine-cochrane-collaboration-study/
(yes, this is a blog reporting on it, one has to register to get to the original report).

Whatever your belief, the case is not black and white.

Best regards to everyone.







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by adgal, Oct 20, 2012
Hi Sally,

I completely agree that vaccines are not safe for everyone. There are some who have medical issues, negative reactions, etc.  No question about it, and I don't argue that at all.  My argument is that for most, vaccines are safe.  It's one thing to not vaccinate for medical reasons, but it is quite another to not vaccinate for no reason at all.  There is no question that these diseases still exist, and that they kill.  So for a child like mine, who suffers no ill effect from vaccine to choose not to is just not a good decision, and in my opinion, means that I am not looking out for his best interests.  And for a child like yours, you cannot be vaccinated, she is even more vulnerable to others decisions. Others vaccinating will assist in protecting here.

It's not black and white, and Dr.'s should always be consulted. But it is an important issue and one I think everyone benefits from in discussing.  

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by krichar, Oct 20, 2012
Just a quick note.... Adults must get their immunizations every 10yrs to keep them up to date. We went when our little guy had his first shots :)

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by mandaszoo, Oct 20, 2012
Hi all just wanted to add my views on subject. A family I know very well would not give their children any vacinations because of totally unproven risk of causing autism. . The thing is their youngest son has gone on to develop severe autism , plus he contracted Whooping cough at age 8 and was severely ill for months leading to permanant lung problems.  Unless there is a real risk to health everyone sshould vacinate. Drop in vacinations is why there is an outbreak now,

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by adgal, Oct 20, 2012
Very true K.  We had ours as well.  It's important.  

Manda, I agree completely.  Kids are getting so sick.  Health nurses I know tell me that the real problem lies in that people have forgotten what these diseases and illness' looked like, but now they are making a comeback. It scares me, it truly does.  When I was in school, we lined up in the school gym for our vaccines....I guess they don't do that anymore.  In fact, our school board does not require children to have ANY vaccines.  Nothing.  We are considering alternatives because of that.  Right now we are looking into a local charter school....there are other reasons, but the vaccine issue is one of them.

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by krichar, Oct 21, 2012
Hey adgal... If its any consolation S still had his grade 5 shots at school, and his school is still run by your district. I had to sign and approve it, but at least they still do it :)

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by specialmom, Oct 21, 2012
I think all schools should require vaccinations, I really do.  Mine does and it is peace of mind.  I so agree that vaccinating is critical to the health of our kids.  

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