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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

As vaccine fears rise, so does whooping cough



needle.jpgOn the news that whooping cough is on the rise in Hillsborough County, the question inevitably comes up: Are the anti-vaccine forces to blame? 

Seven families, spread throughout the Hillsborough County, are responsible for a large portion of the cases, Hillsborough County reports. Among them was one family that does not believe in immunizations, health officials said.

You can't blame all this on the anti-vax folks though. Children receive the vaccine that protects them against pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus in five stages — at two months, four months, six months, between 15 and 18 months and between 4 and 6 years.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults — particularly those who come in contact with infants and small children — receive a vaccine booster dose every 10 years.

But we've also had news stories of measles cases on the rise, and the rising numbers of people who opt out of vaccines citing religions exemptions.

Medical experts say they think the real issue often is not religion, but unfounded fears of a connection between vaccines and autism.

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[Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2012 7:12pm]


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