Take on listen to a child with whooping cough you know its a distinct disease. The cough is disturbing to hear and can be deadly to the patient if not properly treated.
There is a vaccine that is routinely given to children, but the focus may soon be turning to another population. Steve Kutz a nursing supervisor from Washoe County's Hea;th Department helped investigate the 12-whooping cough cases in Washoe County in 2004.
"When we've been investigating cases of pertussis here in Washoe County we typically tie it back to an adolescent or adult who was infected. You and I as adults our teen children if we are protected against pertussis we are not going to be bring it home to infect babies who have not had the opportunity to get the vaccine yet. "
According to the American College of Chest Physicians 28-percent of whopping cough cases are now adults.
To keep this disease from spreading it is recommending adults up to 65-years of age receive the new whooping cough vaccine.
Called the T-D-A-P, it recently received F-D-A approval early last year. It contains protection against tetanus and diptheria as well, and works as a booster to initial whooping cough vaccines many received as a child.
For now the vaccine is only available through private physicians. But soon public health entities like Washoe County's Health Department will make the shot routinely available especially to older adults who may not know much about whooping cough and its health ramifications to infants.
In a related item, the American College of Chest Physicians is not recommending the use of over-the-counter cough medicine to adults or children. The dosages the organization says are ineffective and may even be dangerous to come children.