Increase in whooping cough cases reported in Anderson Co. - FOX Carolina 21

Increase in whooping cough cases reported in Anderson Co.

Posted: Updated: Aug 30, 2013 03:39 PM
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting an increased number of cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, in the Upstate, particularly in Anderson County. 

DHEC says there have been multiple cases in infants and toddlers, and additional confirmed cases in Anderson County involving a summer day camp and five elementary schools.

Pertussis is a very contagious respiratory disease caused by bacteria. It is known for uncontrollable coughing and the "whooping" sound that people make when trying to take a deep breath between coughing fits.

DHEC issued an advisory reminding everyone about the pertussis vaccine. DHEC says it is available beginning at two months old and is effective 85% of the time. 

Children ages 11 and older need a booster dose. Starting with the 2013-2014 school year, all students in South Carolina must receive the vaccine before entering 7th grade.

"We feel very strongly that this is a vaccine that is effective and good at preventing illnesses of this sort. We really hope parents will heed this advice and get the vaccine," said DHEC Public Information Director Jim Beasley.

According to the CDC, DTaP is a vaccine that guards against diphtheria (D), tetanus (T) and pertussis (P).  DTaP is given to children under age seven in a five-dose series. Tdap is the name of the vaccine given to older children (preferably ages 11-12) and adults. 

The CDC says the upper-case letters mean there is a full-strength dose for that disease in the vaccine, while the lower-cases letters mean the vaccine contains a reduced dose for that disease. The "a" in both abbreviations stands for "acellular", which means "the pertussis component contains only a part of the pertussis organism."

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