CDC, doctors urge people to get whooping cough vaccine - FOX Carolina 21

CDC, doctors urge people to get whooping cough vaccine

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The Tdap booster shot given to adults and kids. (File/FOX Carolina) The Tdap booster shot given to adults and kids. (File/FOX Carolina)

With nearly 30,000 cases of whooping cough reported a year, health officials urge people to get the vaccine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, those numbers may be higher as some cases may not be reported. They said people with Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, can have it up to 10 weeks and it is sometimes known as the 100-Day cough.

More than half of infants less than a year old who get the disease are hospitalized, according to the CDC.

And in South Carolina, all incoming seventh grade students are required to get the vaccine, also known as the Tdap booster shot.

Dr. Stephen Jones at Parkside Pediatrics said whooping cough is highly contagious and is spread through coughs, sneezes or talking close to someone who has it. He said sometimes in adults it is not even detected as whooping cough, but for babies, it can cause severe coughing and gasping.

"Periods of apnea where infant can stop breathing, we can have cyanotic, or blue spells, so they can be very scary times for parents, so the vaccine is very important to help prevent that," Jones said.

Babies are given the vaccine as infants and now the booster shot is available for children and adults. It is recommended for children older than 10, anyone who spends time around infants less than a year old, and pregnant women, as the infant vaccine's protection can diminish by the time children are 10, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

It protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. It's also recommended for anyone who hasn't received a tetanus shot or the booster in 10 years.

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