Most pertussis cases in Illinois since 1950
Infant Immunization Week, April 20-27
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[April 20, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois
Department of Public Health is reporting the highest number of
pertussis (whooping cough) cases in Illinois since 1950. Preliminary
numbers show 2,026 cases of pertussis in Illinois residents in 2012.
During National Infant Immunization Week, April 20-27, the
department urges parents to make sure their children have received
all 14 recommended vaccinations, which includes pertussis, before
"The record number of pertussis cases is the perfect example of the
importance of continued immunization," said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck,
director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. "Vaccines have
reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or
severely disabled people just a few generations ago. If we continue
vaccinating, we can further reduce or possibly eliminate additional
vaccine-preventable diseases like pertussis."
One example of the impact vaccines can have is the eradication of
smallpox worldwide. Children no longer need smallpox shots, because
the disease no longer exists. Another example is the elimination of
polio in the United States. Polio once caused death and paralysis
across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no
reports of polio in the U.S.
However, other vaccine-preventable diseases are still circulating
in the U.S. and around the world, so continued vaccination is
necessary to protect everyone from potential outbreaks. Even
diseases that are rare in the U.S. can be brought into the country,
putting unvaccinated children at risk.
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For a printable schedule of recommended vaccines and at what age
children should receive them, visit
http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/pgci.htm. You can also create
an instant, customized
vaccination schedule by entering your child's birth date.
If you are unable to pay for childhood immunizations, you may be
eligible for the Vaccines for Children program. To find out more,
http://www.cdc.gov/features/vfcprogram/ or ask your child's
health care professional.
Department of Public Health file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]