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Child vaccinated for whooping cough. Is she still immune? Will it spread?

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My daughter did not get vaccinated for whooping cough and when in 2nd grade (April/May) she got it. After it was over (summer after 2nd grade)the doctor said no need to get vaccinated because she already had it.
She is in grade 7 now and 2 kids at her school have whooping cough. Can she get it again or is she still immune 4 to 5 years after she got it? And if she is still immune, can she carry it and pass it to other family members who may not be?
thanks, XXXXXXX
Posted Sun, 3 Nov 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

Unfortunately, whooping cough (pertussis) is a bacterial disease like strep throat. If your daughter had it when in 2nd grade, it is likely that she may have developed some immunity to it, but that will decline over the years.

After 5-10 years (as you have said) she can be susceptible to re-infection and develop the persistent "100 days cough" that goes with it as well as being a carrier and spreading it throughout the community. Shots help you avoid recurrent disease.

Adults are at risk. The illness is characterized by coughing spells that can come so closely together that they cause a spasm and prevent you from taking a breath. It can interfere with sleep, work, and eating. Sometimes people cough so much that they faint or even break a rib.

Your daughter might be having declining immunity (if not vaccinated) and that can cause her to get infected and pass on the infection.

I hope this helps.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Dr.A.Rao Kavoor
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