Fun times with whooping cough in #DavisCA

Just got this email.  I have removed the specific sender / facility since that does not seem needed for my purposes here.  I have replaced the name of the site with “Our Facility”. Anyway – thought some people would be interested in the things that can happen when too many people in your community do not vaccinate their kids.

From: Office Administration 
Subject: Possible Exposure to Whooping Cough – Pertussis
Date: June 25, 2014 at 12:55:59 PM PDT
To: Office Administration 

Dear Parent or Guardian,
Our Facility was informed this morning that a student who has been attending a class since 6/16/14 has been diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough). The child is no longer attending the class and is under a medical care.
If you feel you or your child may have been exposed, watch carefully for symptoms in the next 1-2 weeks, and consult a physician if any occur. Here is some pertinent information regarding pertussis (whooping cough):
Pertussis can spread through the air when people cough. It often starts like a common cold which gets worse and worse over 1-2 weeks. People with pertussis have coughing spells that may last several seconds. As they catch their breath at the end of each coughing spell, they may gasp loudly (“whoop”) and vomit or choke.
The vaccine usually protects against pertussis, but sometimes even immunized children can get pertussis. Pertussis is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics can also prevent the spread of pertussis to others.
Activities that may help stop the spread of pertussis include:
  • The exclusion of all pertussis cases from classes until they have taken the first five days of the antibiotic.
  • The administration of antibiotics for babies, pregnant women and other high risk contacts of pertussis cases as well as consideration of antibiotic administration for other household or close contacts to prevent the further spread of pertussis.
  • The administration of another dose of DTaP vaccine to babies and Tdap for older children who are not up to date on their vaccine series.
Please know that Our Facility is taking every precaution in this matter and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Office Staff

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

7 thoughts on “Fun times with whooping cough in #DavisCA”

  1. It is a mess – in the UK those who participated in the class action suit against the MMR vaccine are now suing their lawyers – excellent tweet by @bengoladacre this morning on the subject

    Given that the taxpayer foots the (modest by US standards) healthcare bill in the UK, in the UK we might consider not footing the bill for people who haven't vaccinated their children. Brutal, but the quick reality check of death and the infant mortality our grandparents had to put up with would doubtless focus minds onto facts and away from quackery. A gentler alternative would be for those who compromise herd immunity to pay a lot more tax.


  2. The vaccine for whooping cough is known to fail. Moreover, the DTaP vaccine insert lists autism as side effect. By the way, can you help find a lab willing to study vaccination's affect on the infant microbiome? There are still no studies about how childhood vaccines affect flora. Also, it would be good to study how microbial predisposition, i.e., bifidobacteria counts, apparently lower chance of vaccine injury.


  3. Thanks so much for that second link, Jonathan. I'd like to see a similar project for all the childhood vaccines given per CDC schedule, testing stool sample before and after vaccination. Have you been following the story in the news about the CDC admitting vaccines cause increased risk of autism in African American boys? I suspect microbial predisposition as mechanism of vaccine injury.


  4. Is there even one lab brave enough to study how childhood vaccines affect the microbiome? Or how an imbalanced microbiome contributes to vaccine injury? They seem to fear jeopardizing future funding, even though I'm offering crowdfunding for this project.


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