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Pertussis On The Rise In US

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It doesn’t get much attention but it should because it is a problem that is getting worse each and every year. Pertussis or whooping cough is making a comeback in the United States.

Pertussis has consistently been a source of severe illness and death in other parts of the world but here in the US, cases have been dramatically reduced because of vaccination. Babies are given the pertussis vaccine and have been for years.

The problem is that it appears the vaccine slowly loses effectiveness over time and without boosters people are at risk to contract it. There are antibiotic treatments but the very young and very old are still at high risk.