Skip to main content

View Diary: Baby dies from whooping cough in Orange Co. (79 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting. Most of the articles I read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    stated the baby caught pertussis from an adult. How did you find out that the baby caught it from a sibling?

    We had a bad pertussis epidemic here last year and kids who were unvaccinated caught it at a higher rate than vaccinated kids, but because the vast majority of kids here are vaccinated, most cases were in vaccinated 10-year-olds and 13-14-year-olds who had lost their vaccine-induced immunity.

    The vaccine needs to be improved because, as it is currently, it leaves babies at risk for catching pertussis from siblings, whether vaccinated or not. Also, because the protection wanes so quickly, it doesn't do the job of accomplishing herd immunity.

    •  That just says.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wa ma

      ... that the requirements for booster shot frequency needs to be tweaked some, not that the vaccine needs to be improved. Although getting both would be nice :)

      Pertussis is a particularly nasty bacterial infection, we waited a long time to even identify the bug because it wasn't until 1906 that anyone even came up with a medium that it would grow in - Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou came up with one, containing blood, potato extract and an antibiotic that the bug was naturally resistant to and thus isolated it. (and since the discoverer has traditionally been reflected in the name, the bacterium ended up named "Bordetella Pertussis" after the lead researcher)

      We've got antibiotics that zap it pretty efficiently now, but the problem with that, and why it needs to be handled by a vaccine, is that once a kid starts showing symptoms then killing off the bugs with an antibiotic doesn't help much because the dead bugs break down and release MORE of the toxin that causes the disease. The cough, and the tissue damage still persist long after there isn't a living bacterium in your body, that is why it is so dangerous to babies because even a low level infection will end up releasing enough toxin into that small body to be really REALLY bad news, even when you get rid of the suckers with antibiotics.

      •  Okay, but the problem with DTaP and Tdap (0+ / 0-)

        is the pertussis component. Do you think they would change the schedule to recommend DTaP and Tdap vaccines every 2 or 3 years when that means kids (and adults) would be getting frequent vaccines for diptheria and tetanus even though there would be no need for those?

        Think of how already vaccine-hesitant parents would react to that.

        •  I agree... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wa ma

          ...but there's nothing to stop anyone formulating a pertussis-only booster which could be given between combo boosters. Maybe aim it particularly for people who typically work with or around kids or for healthcare workers who are more likely to be exposed. Ensure the adults around them are immune and maintain that immunity and as the effectiveness of the kids boosters fade that still maintains the herd immunity. Give the extra p-only to the kids when there's reason too, the same way folks used to vaccinate all the kids in a school as soon as a single meningitis case cropped up.

          Ideally as you say we would have a vaccine that promoted long-lasting immunity but in the absence of that we can do better at utilizing the one we have.

          •  That sounds totally rational. That's why I have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            doubts about whether it will ever be recommended.

            I don't think they'll do pertussis-only shots because that could be perceived as a concession to parents who prefer single shots. The Td shot is still available so some parents might want their kids to have a Td shot separate from a pertussis shot instead of letting their kids have DTaP or Tdap. Or parents might choose to just get the pertussis shot for their kids or just the Td shot.

            I really doubt they'll go to something where they give a shot to kids "when there's a reason to." I think the policy makers are just too vested in the one-size-fits-all recommendations of universal vaccinating for kids. I don't think they want to introduce this idea of risk/benefit calculating because that's what the parents who aren't following the schedule are doing and public health officials are working hard to discourage that.

    •  Here is the link (0+ / 0-)

      The article stated that it was believed that the child contracted the disease from siblings or someone unvaccinated in the household.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site