NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Doctors recommend kids get all their vaccine shots, but a high number of older children and adults in Connecticut coming down with pertussis or whooping cough has the state Department of Public Health issuing another recommendation.
"The CDC does recommend as a result of that, older people basically anyone 11 years and older need to talk to their doctor about getting a booster for pertussis to protect them from getting disease as they get older," said Dr. Lynn Sosa, CT Dept. of Public Health.
The 111 cases reported so far this year threatens to hit a 10 year high of the highly contagious condition.
"It can be deadly, particularly in infants and the difficulty is that the characteristic whooping sound of the cough is seen mostly in infants and very young children," said Dr. Ronald Angoff, Pediatric & Medical Associates. "In teenagers and adults, we just get these horrible chronic coughs so we don't get whoop, so it's harder to identify that way."
Dr. Angoff says something else to think about is boosting immunity among patients 11 years and older could require more than one shot of the T-Dap booster vaccine.
"The vaccine is not fabulous," Dr. Angoff said, "and they are re-evaluating to see now with the newer version how often we need booster doses, even though I got my booster in 2006, do I need another one yet?"
Complying is not an issue for moms like Tesheia Johnson, who is already vigilant about updating her son Brandon's immunization record.
"I think it's the only way that these dangerous conditions and diseases are not going to come back, if we take advantage of the medicines that's been created for us," Johnson said.
The Department of Public Health especially recommends that people in contact with infants, which includes parents, babysitters, other family members, or those who are immune compromised get the booster.
Pregnant women are also on that list.
In October, drugstores will offer the vaccine to people 18 and older. If you're not sure if you're up to date, call your doctor.
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