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Category: Infectious Diseases
There have been about 18,000 cases of whooping cough recorded in the U.S. so far in 2012, which is the worst outbreak of the disease since 1959, as reported Reuters. People who are worried about these statistics, reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can undergo a lab test to make sure they are immune to this disease.
Symptoms of whooping cough, which is also known as pertussis, include fever, runny nose and a mild cough that grows more violent after one or two weeks. More than half of babies younger than 1 year who catch whooping cough end up in the hospital, according to the CDC.
"It's most dangerous for babies," said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, quoted by the news source. "Preventing infant deaths from the disease is our primary national goal," she said.
Babies and older children undergo their own series of vaccinations against whooping cough. However, adults may need a booster inoculation in order to prevent exposing kids who have not completed the series. This may be especially important for families that have new infants, according to the CDC.
A lab test can help determine who needs a booster shot against whooping cough.
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