Maine CDC advocates for whooping cough vaccination

7:01 PM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
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(NEWS CENTER) - Maine's Centers for Disease Control says we haven't seen the last of the whooping cough this season, and it's not just children who need to be getting immunized.

Whooping cough, known as pertussis in medical circles, is a virus characterized by a persistent, distinct sounding cough that lasts for weeks.

It can be fatal to very young children and those with compromised immune systems.

Children are supposed to be vaccinated 5 times between age 2 months and 13 years - but they often miss at least one of their shots.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Sheila Pinette says that part of the reason we're seeing more whooping cough these days is that the vaccine changed in the mid-90s.  It is now less likely to have side effects than the old vaccine, but it also is weaker and doesn't last as long.

NEWS CENTER

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