An old disease is new again.
Whooping cough makes a comeback.
It’s up 1,500% in Genesee County alone. Because of that, local health departments have new recommendations.
Whooping cough is mostly known for the sound made breathing in between coughing.
Mark Valacak, Genesee County Health Director, says “It’s a persistent cough. If you had what you thought was a cold, but you’ve got a cough that continues, a cough that’s maybe worse at night, you may want to be tested for whooping cough.”
The disease can be deadly. It’s killed one baby in Michigan this year.
Medical experts say they thought having five doses was enough. Now, they say six are necessary.
Valacak says, “Next year, the State of Michigan will require children entering the sixth grade who are 11 years old or older to be vaccinated with a booster dose.”
Infants are especially vulnerable. Those who care for infants are also recommended to get a booster shot.
“We’re seeing it across the board, primarily in adolescents probably middle school age,” Valacak says.
The vaccine is available at your doctor’s office.
Most insurances cover the cost.
The Genesee Co. Health Department charges a $15 administration fee for those without insurance.
The outbreak is all over the country.
It’s an epidemic in California. It recently had more than 900 cases of whooping cough and killed 5 babies.