Local doctors say Augusta isn't immune to whooping cough

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Sara Oliver is a grandmother who believes getting kids vaccinated against whooping cough is important.

"I know there's a lot of hazards and questions about vaccinations, but the risk of the diseases they could get I think outweighs it, "Oliver said.

Seven cases of whooping cough were found Southeast Georgia in April of 2014. Dr. David Haburchak with GRU said Augusta hasn't seen any cases in the past few weeks, but the area isn't immune.

"The vaccine doesn't seem to be as potent in terms of long lasting immunity," Haburchak said.

He said the original vaccine was phased out around 1985 after it caused too many fevers. But he said that's just one of the reasons he believes certain areas have seen more cases.

"I suspect it probably concentrated in areas where vaccinations have lapsed," Haburchak said. "Older people can get the disease and pass it to young children."

The bacterial disease is caused by coughing and can spread quickly. Haburchak said one person can spread it to an estimated 15 people.

The highest risk is for young children. A child cannot be vaccinated until they're two months old.

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