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    Whooping cough is on the rise
    Dan Brennan, MD posted:
    Dear Parents,

    This week, the State of California announced an epidemic of whooping cough (also know as pertussis). We haven't seen numbers like these since the 1950's and unforntunately 5 infants under the age of 6 months have already died.

    It is truly tragic to see a resurgence in vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis and measles, because in 2010 we have safe and effective vaccines that can prevent these diseases. In order to protect our communities, however, we need to encourage all parents to immunize their children. In communities where parents do not vaccinate in high numbers, it places all the children at higher risk.

    I encourage all parents to vaccinate their children at the recommended intervals. The earliest an infant can receive the Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP) is 6 weeks of age.

    Historically, 50% of infants who develop pertussis actually contract pertussis from a parent. New parents can help protect their infants by updating their vaccines with the new adult version Tdap (known as Adacel and Boostrix).

    I encourage you to talk to your pediatricians and family doctors about the best ways to protect your precious babies from vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Dr. Dan
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    Dan Brennan, MD responded:

    Here is an excellent review on pertussis from WebMD
    Satori215 replied to Dan Brennan, MD's response:
    Pertussis is indeed a serious concern in our society today, but a balanced perspective is in order, and I believe lacking, in your assessment. For instance, to state that pertussis is "vaccine-preventable" is to mislead, ignoring the fact that the majority of cases in past outbreaks have been in vaccinated or previously vaccinated individuals. The efficacy of the Pertussis component of the DTaP is in question according to numerous research studies done throughout the world and throughout its tenure on the vaccine schedule.

    Efficacy issues aside, you also do not represent any risk whatsoever in vaccinating our children, whereas studies throughout the world have also drawn a clear link between the Pertussis vaccine and SIDS, not to mention all of the other numerous side-effects listed in the product insert. SIDS, specifically, per the numbers of yearly deaths, is a much more pressing issue than the relatively benign "vaccine-preventable" diseases. Why would the government virtually ignore such a large public health concern?

    I have spoken with Many pediatricians on the vaccination issue and have been informed frankly by at least a few that they are under time constraints which disallow them from thoroughly researching vaccination risks. Those who didn't state this outright implied it. Pediatricians rely much too heavily on the American Academy of Pediatrics to dictate official views. In a perfect world, government bureaucracy and its financial relations with drug companies would not affect our lives at all, much less harm them. Alas, this is not a perfect world. We must be careful in ascertaining truth, for there are many who would obscure it in their own self-interest. You, as a pediatrician, are responsible for the health and well-being of helpless children. You have their trust. You must be the most careful of all.
    Benenati responded:
    Dr. Brennan,
    I gave birth to my third son two weeks ago and the Pertussis vaccine was a huge push at the hospital. i was given the vaccine only hours after my c-section and my husband was directed to get his within days of our sons delivery. They even offered to give it to him at the hospital too. We both had the vaccine when we were younger so why do we need it again? I also have a 10 year old who was vaccinated when he was younger, should he too be revaccinated? What do you think?
    Dan Brennan, MD replied to Benenati's response:
    Great questions and Congratulations!

    Until 5 years ago there was not a booster vaccine for pertussis available to people over 7 years old. As we get older, our immunity to pertussis has waned and there are many teens and adults who are susceptible to pertussis.

    In many parts of the country, especially California, pertussis is reaching levels not seen since the 1950's and 6 infants have died already this year.

    It is estimated that up to 50% of time infants catch pertussis from a close contact (like a mom or dad). The push is on to boost the immunity of all teens and adults, especially new moms and dads, by using the Tdap vaccine (known as Adacel or Boostrix).

    Not everyone gets full protection from this vaccine, so the more people around your baby who are vaccinated, the better protected the baby will be.

    It would be great if you, dad and your 10 year old were able to get the vaccine sooner than later.

    I hope that helps and congrats again!

    Dr. Dan
    BNWilson3 replied to Dan Brennan, MD's response:
    What are the signs of whooping cough? Just a cough? Thanks
    Dan Brennan, MD replied to BNWilson3's response:

    This link has a good overview on what you might see.
    Wendy12345678 responded:
    I know this is old, but is pertussis still an issue? I just had my third son, and my oldest who is in school is not vaccinated. He was allergic to the Dtap, so he has only recieved the DT vaccine all his life. Is this something I should be concerned about?
    fiannakyn replied to Wendy12345678's response:
    The death toll in California alone had reached 10 infants before the end of 2010, The CDC is still concidering Whooping cough to be an epidemic in infants too young to be vacinated themselves.

    Also- there has been a resergance of it in College age children, with at least a 18 year old and a 21 year old dead in Missouri. Both had been vaccinated as infants but never recieved a booster.

    You can now get a booster shot for whooping cough along with the booster for tetanus, both recomended to be boosted every 10 years.
    Vicky DH (34) Starting Foster to adopt training on March 28th with an placement estemated by december 2011. Lurking for research :)
    Wendy12345678 replied to fiannakyn's response:
    Wow, read that your fostering to adopt . You'll have to let me know how that goes, I've always been interested in doing that at some point.
    fiannakyn replied to Wendy12345678's response:
    wendy- I'm keeping a blog at as well as periodic updates on the adoption forums here in webmd.
    Vicky DH (34) Starting Foster to adopt training on March 28th with an placement estemated by december 2011. Lurking for research :)
    fiannakyn replied to Wendy12345678's response:
    I just noticed that you said your son was allergic to Dtap- you might ask his doc about the adult combo I mentioned. I dont know the allergic concerns with it- but it can't hurt to ask.

    At the least be sure to get yourself and your husband boosted for Pertussis to offer extra protection for your youngest (Congrats by the way!)
    Vicky DH (34) Starting Foster to adopt training on March 28th with an placement estemated by december 2011. Lurking for research :)
    brisanchez1990 responded:
    yes sadly it happening a lot and its a very scary sickness . my baby girl of 11 weeks got it rite before she was going to get her shots and was in the hospital for 5 days.

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