You know how it is.
You can’t get through the day without someone telling you there’s a new threat in your life, something you need to worry about that, yesterday, you were blissfully ignorant of — of which you were blissfully ignorant? — whatever.
You know how it goes.
But this new threat isn’t new at all.
In fact it is quite old and quite avoidable and health officials in Kansas are encouraging people to take it seriously.
As the Associated Press reported this week:
“Health officials in a northeast Kansas county are dealing with an outbreak of whooping cough.
“Douglas County officials have recorded a half-dozen cases of the illness in Lawrence during the past month.
“Four of the cases involved children who had not been vaccinated for whooping cough, also known as pertussis.
“The bacterial illness is contagious and spreads by coughing or sneezing in close contact with others.
“A pertussis outbreak in March affected seven Lawrence children, most of them unvaccinated.
“Symptoms of whooping cough include a runny nose or congestion, sneezing and possibly a mild cough or fever.
“Very young children may have rapid, violent coughing.”
What is interesting about this serious disease is how it just keeps coming back for more.
If you look at a graph of past deadly diseases, measles, scarlet fever, typhoid and the like, you will see a steady decline to the lows of today.
But whooping cough drops and rises, over and over again.
It just keeps coming back in spikes.
It’s true that the number of cases now are much lower than they were, say, a century ago. But it’s still here and it’s still serious, especially in little kids.
There are good reasons that our health officials continue to address this dangerous disease and why they are pushing for continued vaccination.
Don’t put it off.
Don’t presume that this disease is a thing of the past.
As they are finding out in Douglas County, it is not.
We have to continue to stay on top of it, because it has not gone away.
— Chuck Smith