(Albuquerque, NM) — Cases of whooping cough are spiking across the Land of Enchantment. It’s annoying for adults and can be fatal for babies. Whooping cough is highly contagious. It is bacterial, so antibiotics can be used to treat it. But it loves to linger. The Chinese call it the “hundred day cough.”
One New Mexico baby has died from whooping cough so far this year, in San Miguel County. There have been 467 cases statewide in 2012, with four months left in the year. Last year, the state saw 277 cases. Nationwide, the caseload is about 25,000 right now.
Doctors say the answer is to be vaccinated by T-dap that helps protect you from pertussis. It’s the usual tetanus vaccine that you’re supposed to get every ten years, but it also contains a part of it that helps protect you from pertussis also.