The Centers for Disease Control say Missouri is one of eighteen states with whooping cough rates noticeably higher this year than they were last year.
Pertussis is the formal name. And Missouri has counted 408 cases so far this year after having 438 in all of 20-11. Case numbers fluctuate from year to year–561 in 2008; one-thousand-15 the next year, and 604 in 20-10 before the drop off last year. But this year’s number is a cause for concern. Health department spokeswoman Gena Terlizzi says talk about vaccinations is changing. She says there has been increased discussion about a booster shot before the teen years because the strength of the vaccine wanes with time.
Babies don’t get their DPT shots until eight weeks. Terlizzi says she has heard some suggestions that expectant mothers should ask their doctors if they should get pertussis shots to protect babies before the babies get their own inoculations.
State law requires Pertussis vaccinations before children can start school or daycare unless there’s a religious objection.
She says Pertussis can become fatal…but she says there are antibiotics that can treat it.