Fayetteville (WSYR-TV) -- Health officials say it could be a record year for whooping cough in the U.S. Doctors say the problem is that adults aren’t getting vaccinated.
In Onondaga County we've seen 54 cases since January, that's nearly five times what we saw in 2011.
Even doctors aren’t immune to whooping cough. Dr. Mark McConn says he caught whooping cough two years ago.
“It’s pretty awful," said Dr. McConn, Chief Medical Officer at St. Joseph’s Medical, P.C. "Even though I took the antibiotics, I still had the cough for three months.”
Whooping cough will make adults sick, but it can be deadly for babies. Doctors urge parents, or anyone around children, to get the vaccine so they don’t pass it on. Something doctors say isn’t happening.
The Centers for Disease Control says 95 percent of kids are vaccinated, but only 10 percent of adults get vaccinated. For kids, it’s a series of four shots before the age of five. For adults, it’s just one shot every 10 years.
Doctor McConn’s staff stays on top of it, arming themselves against pertussis too.
“It's something that we feel we can probably wipe out as long as we get back on the immunization schedule,” Dr. McConn said.
Babies can’t get the shot until they’re a few months old. Doctors say pregnant women should get the vaccine in their third trimester, so both mom and newborn baby are protected.
The CDC says it’s tracking an outbreak of pertussis here in New York. In some states – like Washington – cases have reached an epidemic level.