Whooping Cough On The Rise In Virginia

By WAMU
|  Thursday, Jul 28, 2011  |  Updated 6:19 AM EDT
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Whooping Cough on the Rise As Parents Refuse Vaccines

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Whooping Cough on the Rise As Parents Refuse Vaccines

Dr. Nancy Snyderman of the Today Show speaks with Meredith Vieira about childhood illnesses being on the the rise as parents refuse vaccines for their children.
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Cases of whooping cough are on the rise in Virginia. So far this year, seven outbreaks have been reported according to AP.

State health officials say 189 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, were reported statewide in the first half of the year. That's more than double the same period last year.

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection of the nose and throat that causes severe coughing spells. It's highly contagious and the Virginia Department of Health says it poses a particular threat to infants and very young children who haven't yet received the full series of vaccines.

One factor that could be contributing to this year's increase, experts say, is that over time the effectiveness of the childhood vaccine wanes and a booster may be required.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2011 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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