New Strain Of Whooping Cough Discovered - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

New Strain Of Whooping Cough Discovered


It's been one of the worst years for Whooping Cough in the United States.

Now researchers say they've discovered a new strain of the disease.

One that's not in the current vaccine.

Across the U.S. there were a little more than 13 cases of Whooping Cough for every 100-thousand people.

Those numbers were significantly higher for our area.

Illinois saw over 14 cases per 100-thousand.

Iowa saw 53 cases for every 100-thousand people.

There are a variety of reasons for the outbreak.

The new strain is one suspect, but the C.D.C. also says the switch to a different type of vaccine in the 90's is the biggest culprit.

Because the data shows it wears off faster.

"We used to use a whole cell vaccine that was a complete whole cell, the whole bacteria was killed and it was what was in the vaccine," says CDC spokesperson Alison Patti. She says the old vaccine worked well, but it mimicked the disease it was trying to prevent. Leading the vaccine industry to come up with a new version in the mid 90's. That version works, but it doesn't last as long.

"People's protection from using this vaccine wears off a little more quickly than we thought it would."

Patti says that's been contributing to the growth of Whooping Cough cases since the 80's. Iowa recorded nearly 1,650 cases in 2012. Illinois saw over 2000, but a new strain wouldn't be responsible for all of those cases.

"One of the components is not there, in the strain of the bacteria, so there is one less thing for the vaccine to fight which its trying to protect us from getting Pertussis."

The C.D.C.'s recommendation is to get a booster shot that's been around since 2005. It's called TDAP, designed for adults and teens. Patti says that's the best way to fight back against the growth of whooping cough.

"Everyone's recommended to get a dose of TDAP, it's also especially important for anyone who's going to be around infants."

While the C.D.C. is monitoring the new strain, it says the vaccine remains highly effective.

Each one contains between 3 and 5 different protein markers to protect against the disease.

Unlike the flu shot, it doesn't need to be adjusted each year.

If this new strain is found to be common, the vaccine makers can adjust their formulas.

Babies are most at risk from catching whooping cough.

The C.D.C. recommends anyone who will be near babies get a booster shot.

It also says pregnant women should get a booster shot during the final stages of each pregnancy.