Adults may need whooping cough booster as cases rise: CDC

In recent months, parts of the U.S. have reported outbreaks of pertussis, or whooping cough. While some regional outbreaks are expected each year, health officials are underscoring the importance of boosters in adults to protect infants from severe illness, NBC News reported April 17. 

In April, small clusters of whooping cough have been reported among high school students in San Francisco, as well as isolated cases in Hawaii. New York City also saw an outbreak in recent months, with more than 200 cases reported, mostly in young children. CDC officials told NBC News local outbreaks are expected to some degree each year. About 20,000 cases are reported in the U.S. every year, but the disease can be severe in young babies, which vaccines for both kids and adults can help prevent. 

"Where the pandemic may have interrupted the normal cycle of pertussis is people were not getting vaccinated on schedule because families weren't seeing their physicians as frequently as we would like," Thomas Murray, MD, PhD, a professor of pediatric infectious disease at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., told the news outlet. 

The TDap vaccine is recommended for children 11 and older who have not received the DTaP series. Adults should receive a Tdap booster dose every 10 years, according to the CDC. 

"Anyone who comes to see [a] new baby should have had a recent inoculation with Tdap vaccine to provide a cocoon of protection around that baby," William Schaffner, MD, professor of infectious diseases at Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told NBC News

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