Has someone you know required emergency care for whooping cough? If so, then you may be wondering if you should be concerned about your own health. Keep reading to learn what older adults should know about whooping cough and how to protect themselves from this disease.
An Introduction to the 100-Day Cough
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness that is characterized by a hacking cough that is followed by a high-pitched whooping sound during the next intake of breath. This respiratory tract infection was once considered a childhood disease. However, following the development of the whooping cough vaccine, it now typically affects children who are too young to be vaccinated or adults whose immunity has faded. Because the coughing symptoms caused by pertussis can go on for months, the illness has earned itself the nickname the “100-day cough.” The coughing associated with whooping cough can be so severe that it may lead to abdominal hernias and bruised or cracked ribs.
Protecting Yourself from Whooping Cough
Before the development of its vaccine, whooping cough primarily affected children and was sometimes deadly. Now that most children in the United States are vaccinated for whooping cough, it is thought that this infection is on the rise because older individuals are losing the immunity that they obtained as children through vaccination. Additionally, because children are not completely immune until they have had at least 3 shots, both they and children who are too young to be vaccinated are at risk of catching the disease from others. For this reason, older adults should consider getting a second whooping cough vaccine to help reduce their risk of contracting this dangerous infection. Getting up-to-date with your pertussis vaccine can be a smart way to help protect yourself and others from whooping cough.
If you need non-life threatening emergency care in Orlando, Clermont, Oviedo, or Lady Lake, then come and see us at Paramount Urgent Care. For information about our walk-in clinic’s health care services, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.