Whooping cough: 75 percent of them are adults

Whooping cough: 75 percent of them are adults

Adults suffer from whooping cough more often than children. An evaluation of DAK internal data for 2009 showed that around 8,500 insured persons with whooping cough were treated medically. Only a quarter of them were children! "Whooping cough is no longer a childhood disease," says Dr. Christina Sewekow, health expert at DAK. “Many adults forget to refresh their vaccination protection and then fall ill unexpectedly. The bad thing is that they can infect children so easily. "

Whooping cough often long undetected The disease is triggered by bacteria that are transmitted by droplet infection. A strong sneeze is enough to infect bystanders. "Whooping cough is a very persistent disease that can last for weeks," says Dr. Sewekow. And: it is often not recognized. "Many initially suspect a severe cold or flu. After a few days, however, the cough worsens. “There are convulsive coughing fits, which can also lead to vomiting. The downside: The disease is particularly contagious when the symptoms are still harmless.

Vaccination mitigates the course of the disease
The DAK expert therefore recommends that your family doctor regularly checks your vaccination protection. "The basic immunization usually takes place in childhood, after which it needs to be refreshed." However, nobody is fully protected: "Despite vaccination, it can be infected, but the course of the disease is not so difficult."

Disease is life-threatening for babies Babies are particularly at risk, ”warns Dr. “The disease can even be life-threatening for infants. Because the vaccination protection only works after the third vaccination around the fourth month of life. In front of it, the little ones are practically without protection. “It is therefore important that everyone who has contact with babies is vaccinated against whooping cough. The primary vaccination is completed with the fourth vaccination, around the first birthday. The first booster is given when you start school, between five and six years old, the second between the ninth and 17th years. The standing vaccination committee then recommends the next vaccination once with the vaccination against tetanus and diphtheria, which is due every ten years. (pm)

Image: S. Hofschlaeger / pixelio.de

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