Unnecessary Disease - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Unnecessary Disease

Deadly diseases like the measles and whooping cough are making a come back as parents choose not to vaccinate their children. Dr. Terry Johnson of Pediatric Associates said there is a concern for some of the bacterial illnesses that children can spread through populations.

"People tend to think these diseases are not even around, so why do I need to do the immunizations?," said Dr. Johnson. "Unfortunately, that is not true." 

Dr. Johnson said if you look at the history of measles in this country, from the decade of 2003 to 2013, the average number of measles in the United States was sixty. Just last year, we were already up to 180 cases by august.

"The same is true with pertussis, you go back ten years, the number of cases last year in Texas was around 500 per year," said Johnson. "But in the last three years, the amount of cases has climbed to about 2500 per year. These findings are significant, and whooping cough actually has a fifty percent mortality rate in infants."

Dr. Johnson said that people who choose not to use vaccinations for their children typically sell themselves short.

"One of the other myths that people tell themselves that makes them feel comfortable about not using the vaccinations is that we've come a long way? in medicine, said Johnson. "The problem is the majority of things we vaccinate against are viruses, and there are no treatments for viruses. So once the child gets the virus the child will suffer the consequences ."

Even if you were vaccinated as a child for whooping cough, it would be beneficial to the community to do so again.

"We all know that we get  immunized against whooping cough, but immunity probably goes away as we get older," said Johnson. "So adults probably get pertussis and think it's just a bad cough or chronic bronchitis, but they can spread that in it's full blown form to an infant. So these days there has been a big push to vaccinate adults and give them vaccinations for pertussis, (whooping cough)."

Parents in Texoma are worried that the vaccinations themselves will harm their children. Dr. Johnson said not to worry, that there is no real data indicating the vaccines cause autism or harm your children.

Brody Carter
Newschannel 6 
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