HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Whooping Cough is back on the radar. Suddenly, the numbers of cases across the country are rising.
Last year, Connecticut recorded 178 cases. The year before, there were just 68.
It’s a nasty disease that starts out with cold symptoms and escalates to violent coughing fits that can induce vomiting.
Dr. Paul Skolnik, the University of Connecticut’s infectious disease expert, said cases began climbing when the elements of the preventive vaccine were changed.
Then, doctors noticed something.
“We started to see this in teenagers. So those who have really started just to get this new vaccine, and that’s very unusual for us to see Whooping Cough in teenagers,” he told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.
Skolnik said the initial vaccine protected against the disease for a longer period of time, while the newer vaccine provides immunity for only two to three years.
“It’s unclear what we’re going to do going forward to prevent this problem,” he said.
So, for now, he advises checking in to see if you need a Whooping Cough vaccine or a booster. It’s particularly critical for children and the elderly.