Doctors say parents should get whooping cough vaccine too

Parents, as you're getting your kids ready to go back to school, here's one more thing to check off your list.

You've probably heard the whooping cough is making a comeback. Doctors say the best way to avoid it is to get the vaccine.

But your kids aren't the only ones who need the whooping cough vaccine.

It's a disease we haven't heard about in a while, but cases of whooping cough also known as pertussis are on the rise.

Dr. Scott Burger, with Doctor's Express says, "So far we seem to have the worst outbreak in 50 years with over 18,000 documented cases of whooping cough, 9 children have died of it."

Dr. Burger says two main factors are contributing to the outbreak. Not all parents are getting their kids immunized. And the effectiveness of vaccine is wearing off in many adults.

"The vaccines that parents got when they were children are not giving the lifelong protection against pertussis that we once thought we had," says Dr. Burger.

That's why he says it's important for adults to get the vaccine as well as kids.

"If we all get the vaccine, the likelihood of transmission among a group of people is quite low even if one person is not immunized," says Dr. Burger.  

The whooping cough also known as the 100 day cough is a respiratory illness that can be easily spread.

Dr. Burger says, "At first it looks like the common cold, people have low grade fevers, runny nose, sore throat, and just a general cough, not the classic whooping cough."

It takes about two weeks for symptoms to fully develop. Dr. Burger says, "A person is coughing so violently and so much that for breathing in they make a whooping sound. Children are definitely more vulnerable, particularly children under the age of 1, in addition they can have what are called apnea spells, apnea is when a child stops breathing."

Serious complications that can turn deadly in the worst cases, that's why parents and kids are encouraged to get up to date on their whooping cough vaccine.

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