Pertussis With all the vaccines available today, you would think epidemics would be a thing of the past. However, this is false. Outbreaks of different diseases occur daily and all around the world. Before 2011, there had not been an outbreak of pertussis since 2005. Now there is a significant increase in the cases being reported since 2010. So what is the problem? New vaccines that seem safer with less side effects are actually worse for the general population because they don’t offer the same long term protection (“Uptick to Whooping Cough Linked to Sub-par Vaccines ,” 2013). This article explains the recent outbreak of pertussis in just the past few years and how it is affecting the population.
Bordetella pertussis is the bacterium that causes pertussis. Pertussis is when that bacteria forms in the upper airways and causes a severe cough and shortness of breath. Anyone can become infected. The disease usually starts in adults and is spread to children, which can be deadly to them. In the 1970s it seemed as though the disease had all but disappeared. However, in 2010 and 2012 it has returned with 40,000 cases reported and a fierceness about it that has scientists worried (“Uptick to Whooping Cough Linked to Sub-par Vaccines,” 2013).
Pertussis is typically diagnosed with a lab test that involves taking a swab from the back of the throat. Early diagnosis is the key to getting the disease under control; the hope is to catch it before the coughing fits begin. Treatment of this disease is by antibiotics, unless diagnosis is made after three weeks. By then the bacteria has left your body, even though you may still be showing signs, the bacterium has already done its damage, at this point medical attention is usually required from a hospital ("Pertussis ", n.d).
In the 1990s, vaccines were given to children to prevent pertussis. The vaccines were made from a so-called whole-cell from the pertussis bacteria (“Uptick to Whooping Cough Linked to Sub-par Vaccines,” 2013). These vaccines were known to consist of a toxin that was harmful to children. Children would have severe reactions to the vaccines including fever, severe pain at the injection site, and even seizures (“Uptick to Whooping Cough Linked to Sub-par Vaccines,” 2013). This eventually led to a lawsuit in which many U.S parents sued manufacturers of the vaccine, stating that it caused long term brain damage. This cause many of them to withdrawal from the market and led congress to create a federal vaccine injury compensation program for families with strong cases against vaccine damage (“Uptick to Whooping Cough Linked to Sub-par Vaccines ,” 2013).
Vaccine makers have since made an “acellular” vaccine that does not induce such severe side effects. Since this new vaccine came out, there have been many studies done to prove its effectiveness. Kaiser Permanente of