Unvaccinated Kids At High Risk of Whooping Cough

Children who are not vaccinated against whooping cough are 23 times more likely to develop this contagious bacterial disease. This study was conducted at Kaiser Permanante Colorado’s Institute for Health Research,  Denver. The researchers opine parents may not be getting their kids vaccinated fearing the side-effects of vaccines.

Pertusis or Whooping cough can initially seem like a respiratory infection, but can progress to pneumonia, brain swelling, seizures and death.  According to CDC, whooping cough affects 5000 children every year. This study shows the need for parents to get their children vaccinated against whooping cough.

Why do parents refuse whooping cough vaccine for their kids?

Parents may be fearing the side-effects of the vaccine and refusing it. Other parents believe that the vaccines are not effective and that the risk of pertussis infection is low – both of these are false according to the study. Researchers say that pertussis is highly contagious and kids should protected against it.

The Study:

The study analyzed the medical records of children of ages 2 months to 18 years who were involved in Kaiser Permanente Colorado health plan from the years 1996 to 2006. About 156 cases of whooping cough were confirmed during the study. These cases were compared with 596 children who did not get infected with whooping cough. The researchers found that those who refused vaccinations were 23 times more likely to get whooping cough.

Another analysis involved 27, 748 children of ages 2 to 20 years. Among them 31 confirmed cases of pertusis were found. In the analysis the researchers found out that those who refused vaccinations had increase in the risk of infection.

It was found that  11% of whooping cough cases in the population of Kaiser Permanante were caused due to the refusal of vaccinations. Over the years, the number of parents refusing the vaccinations for their kids have increased. This might be contributing to the rise in preventable diseases among the people.

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