Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorA not-so-happy bit of news from the state health department today– we now have passed the 1000 case mark for pertussis (or whooping cough) for 2012.

Those are the worst numbers since 2005, and odds are we will probably pass that year’s record within the next sixty days.

Pertussis is nothing to sneeze… or cough at. Not only will it make you cough, and cough, and cough, and cough (that’s why it’s called the 100-day cough), but if you come in contact with a baby or older person with poor immunity, they might die if they catch your germ.

In fact, the number one cause of disease in the very young and very old is being exposed to a young or middle-aged adult with the germ.

RELATED: Whooping Cough Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

That’s where this flu shot tie-in comes about.

We are now on the flu shot soapbox, but alongside is the whooping cough plea.

It’s not only kids who should get their infant immunizations, but adolescents and grown ups should have their boosters… and in the case of adults– every ten years.

Making it even easier is the fact that the vaccine, called a Tdap, revitalizes the waning immunity of a grownup for pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria. That’s right. You can quickly update your tetanus protection, with the other stuff, all in this one shot.

And now is as good, if not more important time, to catch up on all of your vaccinations.

Don’t wait to step on a rusty nail (an old wives’ tale for tetanus, btw) or start coughing for 100 days– get your vaccine now.


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