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Whooping Cough Cases On The Rise In The Triad

4:50 PM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
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 PDF Document: Copy of Pertussis by County 2009 2013YTD

Forsyth County, N.C. - The number of whooping cough cases in Forsyth County has more than doubled this year, compared to last year. Forsyth County has had seventy confirmed cases of whooping cough. It's also known as Pertussis.

Pertussis is a respiratory disease that's best known for its persistent cough that can make it tough for people breathe.

Infectious disease experts say more people are getting diagnosed with Pertussis in Forsyth for several reasons. Doctors are testing for it more because there were several outbreaks earlier this year. Plus, the testing has become easier and more efficient. In addition, doctors are now realizing the vaccine wears off with time.

"Vaccine immunity wanes some with life. Your immunity levels go down as you get older. There's something about becoming age 11 or 12 where the immunity level reaches a point where it may not be fully protective anymore," Infectious Disease Expert Christopher Ohl said.

The state of North Carolina requires children to be immunized before they go to school. Plus, children must get a booster shot in sixth grade. Ohl says more than 99 percent of North Carolina children get immunized.

"The shots are not that bad and what they can catch is worse than getting the shots. I'd hate to think my child would end up with something bad or end up dying from something that could have been prevented," Sharon Clarkson, a mother, said.

Doctors now recommend adults get at least one booster shot. They also recommend women get a new shot with every pregnancy.

Read: Reported Whooping Cough Cases By County From 2009-2013 

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