This is the second in a three part series this week that will give you some helpful back-to-school tools!
It’s that time of year when kids need yearly physicals to make sure they’re in tip top shape to head back to school. While you’re there, don’t forget to ask if your child’s vaccines are up to date.
It may be even more important than ever this year, due to a potential rise in cases of Whooping Cough (Pertussis).
Whooping Cough, caused by a bacteria called Bordetella pertussis, is a very contagious and potentially fatal illness, especially in infants. Despite being preventable through vaccination, it is one of the most commonly occurring diseases in the United States.
Health officials report that the US may be heading for its worst year for Whooping Cough in more than 50 years. This may be due to findings that the vaccine given to children in the last 15 years may not be as effective as the old vaccine used to be, meaning children in their early teens would need “booster” shots.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than twice as many cases of Whooping Cough have been reported in the United States so far this year compared to last year. The numbers are sure to rise once kids are back in the classroom, in close contact, which causes illnesses to spread more readily. Dick Malone, a pediatrician with Indiana University Health Southern Indiana Pediatrics, says, “kids not immunized are particularly at risk for getting the illness."
IU Health offers education, screening and vaccinations in hospitals, Urgent Care Centers and pediatrician offices. The cost of the vaccine, which runs about $45, is covered by most insurance agencies.
The Pertussis vaccine is recommended for children, teens, and adults, including pregnant women. Check with your doctor for more information. If you don't have a doctor, let us help you find one!