Whooping Cough Warning

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Story Updated: Sep 12, 2013

A warning today about what some health professionals are calling a growing trend in undervaccination for the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine also know as DTaP.

New research shows this trend may be leading to an increased risk of pertussis or whopping cough in children three to thirty-six months old. Whopping cough is a very contagious and serious respiratory illness.

The study included 72 children with whopping cough and 288 control patients.

Undervaccination was defined as missing any of four scheduled doses of DTaP.

Among the children diagnosed with the disease, approximately 47 percent were undervaccinated. compared to just 22 percent of the control group.

Children missing three doses of DTaP were more than 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with pertussis. Those missing all four doses were more than 28 times more likely to fall ill.

According to the researchers, the United States is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of pertussis in 50 years and undervaccination is a contributing factor.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.

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