• Children's Center

    Whooping Cough Vaccinations Need a Boost

a crying baby sitting on nurses
People who were vaccinated or under-vaccinated for measles and pertussis, the bacteria that causes whopping cough, made up a substantial proportion of recent cases, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More than half of 1,416 measles cases reported in the U.S. since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000 were for people with no history of measles vaccination, the analysis found. Among more than 10,000 pertussis patients with known vaccination status, 24 to 45 percent of people in the five largest statewide epidemics since 1977 were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. Waning immunity from pertussis vaccination was likely another factor in outbreaks, which also were seen in highly vaccinated populations.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection marked by a cough so severe it chokes away the ability to breathe. It's especially important for mothers-to-be and parents of young children to be aware of the cough and understand how to prevent it. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Jeff Olsen speaks with pediatrician Dr. Bob Jacobson about the cough and the vaccine used fight it.

Watch the Mayo Clinic Minute.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (1:08) is in the downloads. Download the script.