Whooping cough, an acute infectious disease of the respiratory system, can get sick at any age, and even several times in a lifetime. Experts warn that almost the entire adult population of Poland is immune to it.
Whooping cough is an acute infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by a bacterium called whooping cough, which appears as a chronic, paroxysmal cough. It is spread by droplets and facilitated by coughing, sneezing and talking. It is highly contagious and easy to catch from the flu, mumps, rubella, or chickenpox. A sick person can infect from 12 to 17 people. Meanwhile, many people in our country are not immune to it.
Professor Adam Antzak, Head of the Department of Pulmonology and General Oncology at the Medical University of Lodz, said: – Almost the entire adult population in Poland has no immunity to pertussis, a disease of all age groups. He added that the disease can be particularly severe in young children (unfortunately, there is also a growing unvaccinated population here) and in people over 65.
disease of any age
You can get whooping cough at any age. Research published by “Medycyna Practical” showed that adolescents and adults suffer more and more (a similar trend exists in other European countries and the USA). This is due to the disappearance of immunity to vaccines over time. Because the most effective way to prevent whooping cough is vaccination, as it is recommended for all adults. It is worth remembering that not being sick or vaccinated gives permanent immunity.
– The only way to protect yourself from this is to vaccinate every 10 years, and simply on the anniversary of birth: 30, 40, 50 years – explained Dr. Ernst Kochár, President of the Polish Association of Vaccines, a specialist in infectious diseases.
Pertussis vaccination according to the preventive immunization program is recommended for all adults (from 19 years of age) as a single booster dose every 10 years.
Experts warn that whooping cough is different in adults than in children, and adults are more likely to complain of a prolonged cough. These non-specific symptoms make it difficult to correctly diagnose the disease.
The risk of infection is very high, because official statistics probably do not reflect the actual size of these injuries. According to data provided by the My Patients Foundation, there may be, on average, 71 cases of unreported pertussis per reported case of pertussis in all age groups, and among the elderly (aged between 65-70) up to 320 unreported cases. The Foundation cites Polish research from 2009-2011.
Whooping cough, which is not treated or caught too late, can be very unpleasant in adults, as the cough can last for up to three months and cause complications such as pneumonia, hernias and incontinence. On average, four out of ten adults over the age of 60 develop complications of whooping cough, and the risk increases with age.
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