BROWNSVILLE — bIt's an infection that seems to be making a comeback, but health experts say it doesn't have to be that way. Whooping cough is very contagious, yet preventable.
It's a very distinct cough, one that can cause injury or even death to a young child, but a vaccine is all it takes to prevent Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough.
"One of the factors that probably makes whooping cough a bigger issue for us is because many individuals on our area have a barriers to healthcare," says Brownsville’s City Health Director, Art Rodriguez.
According to state health officials the upper respiratory infection looks very similar to the everyday cold...runny nose, congestion and sneezing may accompany the deep cough, but what many parents find out is that the cough just doesn't seem to go away.
The center for disease control recommends children get the series of five d-tap shots. The first three given at two, four and six months of age, the remaining vaccines are given at 15-18 months and between 4-6 years old.
But the vaccine is not just recommended for kids, adults too are urged to get the booster vaccines. New information released from the state health department shows that particularly low income Hispanics tend to contract the upper respiratory infection at higher rates.
"In our cultural community it's very common to have extended families living in the same household," says Rodriguez.
Full households with more people in closer quarters can easily lead to the spread of germs like the virus carries.
"People need to realize there are local clinics that will accept at very low cost and give vaccines," says Rodriguez.
Additional information on whooping cough and vaccine assistance can be found below.
Brownsville Community Health Center-New Horizon Medical
Address: 95 East Price Road, Building D
Brownsville, Texas 78521