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Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil, MD, said Tuesday that New Mexico is seeing a significant increase in the number of pertussis cases statewide, and people can protect themselves and their families by getting immunized.
Dr. Michael Nichols of the Los Alamos Children’s Clinic said this morning that there has been one case in northern New Mexico and it was a child who attends Los Alamos Public Schools. The schools are urging sixth graders and their parents to get booster shots as soon as possible.
Pertussis is a serious bacterial respiratory infection that is highly contagious. It is also known as whooping cough due to the distinctive “whoop” sound that some people make after a fit of coughing.
“Already this year we have had more cases than we had last year,” Dr. Vigil said. “When we investigate cases, often we find that infants got the disease from their family members. Infants are too young to be fully vaccinated so they are more vulnerable to getting the disease and becoming very sick. We encourage all adolescents and adults to get the booster vaccine so they don’t get sick and pass the disease to others.”
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