Whooping Cough on the Rise
June 29, 2012 | Mad Science
This nearly dead disease is making a comeback in places like Maine, Washington, Alberta, Alberta and parts of the UK and Holland, spreading faster than even the nonsense disseminated by antivaxxers. As Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy) put it:
There are times when reality is so obvious, so clear, so rock-solid 100% amazingly in-your-face incontrovertible, that it is beyond belief that anyone could deny it.
This is one of those times. Get your kids vaccinated.
Perhaps whooping cough needs a re-branding. Sure, you can whoop someone’s ass but more commonly whooping it up is a damn good time. With things like flesh-eating disease, it’s something that strikes the fear of god into people. If it were called say, acquired asymmetrical body disorder, it’d be much harder to spot warning signs.
In 1934, more than 265,000 cases of Whooping cough were reported in the United States with nearly 8,000 deaths, which made the Great Depression even more depressing as these occurred mostly in children. In 2003, the number of deaths was 13 and in 2011, the state of California cut deaths to zero.
In a large review of six efficacy trials (total of 46,283 participants and 52 safety trials with a total of 136,541 participants) the efficacy of multi-component acellular (containing purified or recombinant antigens) vaccines varied from 84% to 85% in preventing typical whooping cough as well as about three quarters effective for the milder form of the disease.
According to the NCBI, complications of whooping cough include those most common after someone is slugged with a metal chair in a wrestling match: Convulsions, Seizure disorder (permanent), Nose bleeds as well as ear infections, neural damage from anoxia, cerebral hemorrhaging, Mental retardation, apnea and the very worst complication of all: death.