Paulson says 80 - 90% of those who come in contact with whooping cough will get sick. And once you've caught it, it's easy to infect others, even after taking antibiotics. "Most pediatricians and medicine doctors recommend five days of going without going to school. And so you actually, essentially quarantine these children so that they don't pass it on to other underimmunized or non immunized children. If you don't receive the antibiotics, you're contagious for 21 days." He says prevention is the key, adding that new parents should immunize to protect newborns... and that it's a good idea for all patients to stay current with pertussis booster shots.
JOPLIN, MO-- "We are seeing two times the normal number of cases." And that's a concern for Dr. John Paulson. He says pertussis or whooping cough are extremely infectious and in some cases deadly. "The most dangerous thing about whooping cough is in infants it can cause periods of apnea or breath holding. And in that population, they're not immunized or inadequately immunized against it."