Whooping Cough Outbreak In NC Elementary School

We are tracking a health alert in another part of the state, but it's something you should know about.

There appears to be an outbreak of whooping cough at an elementary school in Burlington, in Alamance county. Eight cases of the illness have been confirmed, but there are 23 more suspected cases.

Whooping cough is also called Pertussis. It's a bacterial infection that causes terrible coughing fits. Vaccinations had reduced the illness dramatically since the 1940s, but it's making a comeback.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by anonymous Location: plymouth on Jan 14, 2012 at 05:16 AM
    I thought the vaccine was required to attend public school. My little girls pediatrician didn't ask me for permission to give it to her. She got hers at the same time she got one of her boosters. Some people don't realize how important it is for your child to get all these vaccines. I don't think something so serious that could affect other peoples children and their safety should be a choice. It should be required..
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      by amazing on Jan 14, 2012 at 06:23 AM in reply to anonymous
      they should ask your permission!!! it is important to get vaccinated, but it should always be a choice because there ARE risks involved. I always have to sign that i gave my permission to have vaccines administered to my children--so your pediatrician needs to brush up on protocol before he finds him or herself in a litigious situation!
  • by Aunts Location: enc on Jan 13, 2012 at 08:16 PM
    I had two aunts, both of whom I never knew because both died at the age of 2. One from diptheria and one from whooping cough. When my father told me the story, I remember being so thankful that I didn't have to fear these nor Red Measles, Small Pox, Polio. At that time, there was no shot for chicken pox, so that one we did experience. To think some are so complacent that they don't even know how fortunate you are and how unfair you are to put other children at risk. I thought the DPT was required to be enrolled in schools. When did that stop?
  • by Anonymous on Jan 13, 2012 at 08:54 AM
    OMG, people, how many people die of allergic reactions to vaccines each year? I bet you the number is small compared to the number who die from NOT having the vaccines! Yes, it's tragic is someone, a child or an adult, dies from an allergic reaction to vaccines, but i would risk it rather than have my child come down with one of these terrible aflictions. our kids depend on us to protect them...i think i would be furious with my mother and father if they didn't give me a shot that then KNEW would keep me safe and instead played roullete with my life...
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      by Yeah on Jan 13, 2012 at 09:32 AM in reply to
      Yeah, because chicken pox is such a terrible affliction @@
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        by yeah, smarty on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM in reply to Yeah
        actually it IS for some people, and if a pregnant woman is exposed, her fetus can get chicken pox and die.
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        by It Can Be Quite Terrible Indeed on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM in reply to Yeah
        The chicken pox virus, once contracted, remains in the host human for life. The virus is capable of reactivating later in life, causing the disease known as shingles. Shingles is a skin rash originating from reactivated chicken pox viruses located in nerve cells in the body. The virus attacks those nerves, leading to often debilitating pain. In some cases, albeit rare, the virus can cause blindness and/or deafness, therefore chicken pox does have the capability to be a terrible affliction, and is a good candidate for vaccination development. --A little dose of knowledge from a friendly Microbiologist
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        by Be Real on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:24 PM in reply to Yeah
        Obviously you've never had chicken pox or the latter result of chicken pox called "shingles"! It is a terrible affliction!
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        by It Can Be on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:24 PM in reply to Yeah
        Chicken pox, once contracted, lives in the host's nerve cells for the remainder of life. It can reactivate late in life to cause the disease shingles, a highly painful rash. In some cases of shingles, albeit rare, blindness or deafness develop due to the destruction of nerve tissue by the virus. Keep that in mind when your doctor wants to vaccinate your children for chicken pox. --Friendly advice from your local vocal Microbiologist
  • by Do What on Jan 13, 2012 at 06:52 AM
    You don't need to give your child these deadly vaccines.I'm telling you from experience,I'm an adult.It is the child receiving these shots who become ill with the disease that the vaccine is supposedly to prevent.Vaccines don't prevent disease they cause it.Use your senses and do your research.I got a Hepatitis B shot over a year ago.My arm feel like someone is shooting acid in it.Sometime I can't lie on either side because of the pain.Now again I'm an adult why do you think everything a doctor give your child is harmless and safe? Vaccines are harmful in more ways that you will ever imagine.
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      by Anonymous on Jan 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM in reply to Do What
      So the fact that Polio is effectively gone is all an illusion?
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        by Anonymous on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:50 PM in reply to
        Don't forget smallpox, it only lives in the laborotory
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      by you are the exception on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:15 PM in reply to Do What
      vaccines save lives, and you are an exception. while i think that having an exception to vaccine safety is unacceptable, i will say that if we didnt have vaccines, alot more children would be dying. to the one who said something about polio--its mostly eradicated in the western world, but people still contract it in poorer countries. i do not like taking a risk with my childs life when i expose him to a vaccine, but i know that the risk is greater if i dont. those parents who do not vaccinate their children should NOT be allowed to bring their children in public, lest they infect a child too young to receive the vaccinations to the disease they have. no vaccines, fine, go colonize yourselves.
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      by Anonymous on Jan 13, 2012 at 04:03 PM in reply to Do What
      People like you create a health risk for the general population.
  • by Firefighters Wife Location: Swansboro on Jan 13, 2012 at 06:23 AM
    This makes me irate!! My son has been sick with a horrible cough for 7 weeks!!! I know several other people here in Onslow County experiencing the same thing. I INSISTED to his healthcare workers (after 4 office visits and two trips to the ER) that he had Pertussis, and they kept dismissing me, saying they couldnt test him because he had already been on antibiotics and the test wouldnt come back correct.(YES! He HAS been vaccinated) Dont be fooled people, its here in ONSLOW COUNTY too!!! Mark my words...... (and on a sidenote you CAN still contract Pertussis even if you have been vaccinated. Do your research!!)
  • by Cindy Location: La Grange on Jan 13, 2012 at 06:13 AM
    If your kids have been vaccinated, what are you worried about? I would suggest doing some research on vaccinations...and that does not mean stopping with the AMA, the AAP, or the CDC. Do you know what is in many of these vaccines? Again, do the research if you want to know.
  • by E Location: Greenville on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:29 AM
    Natural selection at work...GET YOUR CHILDREN VACCINATED!!!!
  • by A mom Location: MHC on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:27 AM
    To Not immigration issue - all a parent has to do to get around the immunization rule is lie and say they don't vaccinate because of their religion.
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      by Not immigration on Jan 13, 2012 at 06:14 AM in reply to A mom
      Have you tried? Because I did and the religion waiver has to be highly documented. I wish it was that simple. If it was there are many vaccinations my child would not have gotten...child endangerment at its finest.
  • by Get Informed & Get Vaccinated Location: Eastern NC on Jan 13, 2012 at 04:59 AM
    Immunizations can be gotten at your local health department. The children are not responsible for not getting the required immunizations the parents are, but a lot of parents don't really care as long as their child has received the need shots to enter school. There are boosters for some immunizations that children don't get until they hit 12 & the school requires it. Vaccines are important to not only the health of the children but also to the adult population. SO GET INFORMED & GET VACCINATED! Your PSA for today!
  • by Not immigration issue on Jan 13, 2012 at 04:56 AM
    The state of NC will not allow children in a classroom if they have not been immunized. I know first hand because our daughter wasn't fully vaccinated for medical reasons and she wasn't allowed to attend public school until we had her fully vaccinated.
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      by WOW on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:12 AM in reply to Not immigration issue
      And if you don't think there are kids that haven't been vaccinated in our schools, you are sadly mistaken. There are all kind of reasons kids get "excused" from being vaccinated. I'm a parent, and yoiu can bet your bippy that my kids have ALL their vaccinations, they weren't happy about it, and a couple of them made them a little sick, but they got them anyway. I am part of the last generation that had to contend with polio and anybody that chooses to NOT have their kids vaccinated should be found guilty of child endangerment.
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        by Not immigration issue on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:41 AM in reply to WOW
        You've never watched a child fight for their life because of an allergic reaction to a vaccination have you? I have and I would take polio over the death of my child because of an allergy any day. The only waivers that NC offers are religious (and that's very difficult to get) or medical (also very difficult). Believe me, I tried to get a waiver. And my resistance had nothing to do with my child not wanting a shot. It had to do with the fact that her older sister almost died. I think that people that don't research and allow the CDC to make all of the decisions pertaining to their children should be found guilty of child endangerment.
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          by Anonymous on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:52 PM in reply to Not immigration issue
          Wow, you've obviously never seen the effects of Polio. Like everything else, there is a risk benefit. I will take the vaccine.....any day
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          by To Not on Jan 13, 2012 at 08:18 PM in reply to Not immigration issue
          Maybe you ought to do some research and find out how many children died from these diseases before these vaccines existed!
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        by Silly Fish on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:55 AM in reply to WOW
        WOW-- I have a three year that has had all of her "dead" vaccines--but no live vaccines--under doctors order. She has had 3 heart operations before her second birthday and has a existing, but poorly functioning thymus gland (the gland that creates your immune system)---so no live vaccines are given to her under doctors orders. Per the doctors (from ECU to Chapel Hill-Duke) the chances of her catching some of the illnesses in public (vaccinated herd mentality) so much less of a possibility (almost impossible) vs. almost a sure bet via being given the vaccine--they choose not to vaccinate her. Please think before you make blanket statements---not all completely vaccinated children's parents are guilty of child endangerment. I wish more than anything to get all her vaccines--but to fully vaccinate her is truly child endangerment at this time until she build up to it. Just food for thought.
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          by to silly fish on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM in reply to Silly Fish
          your situation is exceptional. most children will do fine with a vaccination. i have had my children vaccinated fully, and not because i have a herd mentality. its because i want my children protected from terrible diseases. the story you read above has everything to do with what you said is one of those low percent chances--when it happens, it can be very devastating. if your daughter with heart problems (and my son has them too, but not so badly that he couldnt be vaccinated), imagine what whooping cough, or any of these other diseases could do to her!--im just saying that it doesnt make us herd mentality (which i take offense to) for vaccinating when we can; if you can DO something about it, DO it.
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      by Parent on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:13 AM in reply to Not immigration issue
      There are several kids in my sons class that have not been vaccinated for chicken pox.
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        by Good on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:43 AM in reply to Parent
        The chicken pox vaccination is totally unnecessary. We are setting ourselves up for super diseases by trying to eradicate everything.
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