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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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com