Doctors Deploy Shots and Drugs Against Whooping Cough Outbreak
Dr. Paul Cieslak, the medical director of the Oregon immunization program, says the booster is not 100 percent effective, but data shows people who have it are far less likely to get sick. In fact most of Oregon’s current cases are in people who have never been vaccinated.
Once there’s an outbreak pertussis spreads quickly, Cieslak says. “One case in a susceptible group of people will cause many, many more cases. So it’s pretty contagious probably because there’s so much coughing going on and the bacterium is jumping out of your nose and throat with each cough,” he says.
Which is why it’s important to get vaccinated, Cieslak says, to protect yourself from the disease and to stop spreading it to others. Health officials are recommending that everyone over the age of 11 get a booster shot.