Health Team

Whooping cough cases on rise in NC

Posted June 20, 2012

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— Recent outbreaks of pertussis across North Carolina have renewed calls from state health officials for people to be immunized against this highly contagious but preventable respiratory disease.

Between December and the first week of June, state public health officials had tracked 179 cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, in 23 counties. Alamance County alone has seen 122 cases, officials said.

There were 126 cases of pertussis reported to the state in 2011.

In response to the outbreak, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has made Tdap vaccine, which protects against pertussis, available to anyone 7 and older, including adults, regardless of their insurance status.

The Tdap booster shot is recommended for any child 7 to 10 who didn't complete the childhood DTaP vaccination series and anyone 11 and older who has not yet received a Tdap booster. It is particularly recommended for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, people in close contact with infants and anyone with a chronic respiratory disease.

Pertussis is spread from person to person usually by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others.


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  • mama2two Jun 29, 2012

    Most of the Alamance cases were kids in the 6-10 age group. NOT unvaccinated illegals. A Tdap booster isn't recommended until age 11 so most of these kids were most likely vaccinated. And no, you do not HAVE to be vaccinated to attend public school in NC. There is a religious exemption and all it requires is to sign a waiver stating that you are religiously opposed to vaccinations. All anti-vaccination campaigns are not horrible. Informed consent is never a bad thing...

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 21, 2012

    And for those that don't know, this disease is horrible. One spends so much time coughing, they can't draw breath to sustain life, and the incessant coughing robs them of the energy to keep trying because the deep deep coughing never stops.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 21, 2012

    Hi Blahblah - "Could it be from the influx of residents who came from south of the border where vaccines are not mandated?"

    Perhaps, but don't even their kids have to be vaccinated before attending public schools here?

  • piratepeople2 Jun 21, 2012

    lwilhelm1-you are very likely correct! The anti-vaccine nazis put whatever spin they want on it to make their point. They obviously have never known someone that lost a newborn to such a horrible disease! is a great website to go to for good information.

  • blahblahblah Jun 21, 2012

    Could it be from the influx of residents who came from south of the border where vaccines are not mandated?

  • lwilhelm1 Jun 21, 2012

    I can't help wondering if the horrible anti-vaccine campaigns have anything to do with this. I am proud to say, "Hug me, I'm vaccinated."