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City of Madison News Release
Feb 2, 2012
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Update: Whooping Cough Numbers Remain High
Inadequate Vaccination Rates May be a Factor
There were 22 cases of pertussis reported in Dane County in December, and 20 cases reported in January, with a handful more waiting for confirmation. Normally we would expect no more than 2 or 3 cases per month. Most of these newly reported cases are children age 14 and under. High numbers are still being reported in other areas of Wisconsin. These numbers should be taken seriously since pertussis is a communicable disease that can be life-threatening, particularly among infants-and it is preventable. Since infants under 6 weeks of age cannot be vaccinated, their best hope of protection comes from making sure that all those in contact with the baby have been vaccinated. The recommendations for vaccination (Tdap vaccine) now also include pregnant women. Women who receive this vaccine during pregnancy may provide some protection to their newborn by transferred immunity. Infants are not fully protected until they have received 3 vaccine doses and are 6-12 months of age.