Sunday, October 16, 2005

Pertussis is back giving adults persistent cough,but help is on the way

Pertussis-whooping cough-was something we saw at Big Charity hospital on our pediatrics rotation.After that I rarely even thought of it. In the last several years docs are suggesting it as a cause for their own or their patient's lingering coughs. Adults usually don't get the whooping part . There are now two new vaccines that contain with Tetanus and diphtheria antigens an acellular pertussis antigen which in one form or another has been put into practice in Europe and Canada and efforts are underway to use DTap in place of Td in the U.S. The current issue of NEJM features an article documenting the efficacy of this acellular pertussis vaccine in adolescents and adults. I believe that the reason pertussis was eliminated for the "tetanus" shot for adults was the reaction rate with the old cellular pertussis. Apparently this is not a problem with the new formulations.

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