Diseases seem to be everywhere.
It's normal to question whether you should try and stop them from ever happening in the first place to your child.
"Earlier this summer, the Centers for Disease Control reported that cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, are soaring: 18,000 infections have been reported so far in 2012, which is twice the number seen by this time in 2011. Dr. Anne Schuchat, a director at the CDC, said recently in a briefing: “We may need to go back to 1959 to find a year with as many cases reported by this time.”
In general, about half of infected children under the age of one are hospitalized, and so far this year, nine babies have died. Outbreaks are often blamed on unvaccinated kids. But scientists and public health officials say that in this case, part of the problem may be that the current vaccine (on the market since 1997) doesn’t work as well long-term, since many cases are being seen in vaccinated kids. In Washington state, for example (where an epidemic was declared this spring), over 75 percent of pertussis patients were up-to-date on immunizations. In a letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association this month, Australian researchers support this idea, finding that children who received the current pertussis vaccination are more likely to be infected than those who had the older version. The pre-1997 shot was a “whole cell” formulation and was switched to an “acellular” version, which is more purified form that carries a lower risk of adverse effects after injection.
But even though many of this year’s cases of whooping cough occurred in vaccinated people, typically the course of the disease for them is milder and less often requires hospitalization. So the recent findings are no reason to skip the vaccine — in fact, quite the opposite, says the CDC. To curb the spread of the disease, they are urging that all babies and children still get the pertussis shot and that adults receive boosters, especially pregnant women and anyone who will be around young babies (who, before the age of two months, are too young to be vaccinated themselves). Schuchat reiterates that vaccines are the number one defense against infection, and unvaccinated children are eight times more likely to get pertussis."