A study recently released by the CDC suggests that whooping cough in infants is linked increasingly often with their siblings.
Until the vaccine for whooping cough was changed in the early 1990s due to some concerns that it may cause neurological complications, whooping cough in infants was linked to their mothers.
The new Center for Disease Control and Prevention study found that the new pertussis or whooping cough vaccine, dubbed DTaP, can be linked to the increased number of cases in which older siblings pass on the whooping cough to infants.
Particularly since CDC statistics show that the majority of the cases reported are represented by children and teenagers. In 2012 the CDC reported that 48,000 cases of whooping cough had been registered across the U.S.
Switching from the whooping cough vaccine used until the 1990s to the DTaP vaccine led to teenagers and children being more exposed to infections after the of 6 when the last dose is administered at the latest.
According to the CDC study, DTaP may be effective in achieving short-term results, yet on the long-term these are waning. In the process infants are at risk of being infected with whooping cough. More than half of such cases are immediately hospitalized as to prevent health complications.
Expecting mothers are advised to receive the vaccine during the first trimester. This way the immune system of the infant would be prepared to somewhat cope with the whooping cough. After the child is born, the first DTaP vaccine is administered when the infant is 2 months old. Another dose follows when the child is 4 months old, then at 6 months old, 15 and 18 months old. The last dose is administered around the age of 5.
The CDC study found that in 36 percent of whooping cough in infants, their siblings were the source of the infection. For another 21 percent, the mothers passed on the whooping cough. Fathers only amounted to 10 percent.
The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.
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