Whooping cough cases in America continue to rise in infants due to both an increasing numbers of parents becoming infected with Pertussis bacteria (whooping cough). In many cases, adults with cough associate infections are not seen by their physicians as patients just “stick it out” or in other cases individuals are not screened for the possibility of whooping cough during their doctor visit. As a result, whooping cough transmission rates to susceptible individuals increase that could ultimately lead to epidemic levels. In 2013, a Florida school outbreak raised concerns about persistent transmission of whooping cough amongst adequately vaccinated preschoolers. More study is needed to understand why these preschoolers were susceptible while fully vaccinated. As physicians, we need to take more proactive roles to vaccinate parents against whooping cough with a “booster” and to continue to promote high vaccination rates in infants and toddlers. As parents, we need to seek medical attention for symptoms of cough that are nagging and protracted to protect our vulnerable babies.
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