Low vaccination rates cause ‘kids’ diseases to increase in adults

Vaccination-preventable diseases like mumps, whooping cough and chickenpox are more serious in adults

Getting a shot is never fun, but he alternative is much worse.

“In the last few years we’ve really seen an increase in a variety of infections.” Dr. David McNamara, an infectious disease specialist at Gundersen Health System, said.

A reported 1.078 people contracted mumps this year. That’s 640 more than in 2013.

“Fewer children are getting those recommended childhood vaccines so there is really more of an opportunity for those infections to circulate in the population spread among unvaccinated children but also spread to adults,” McNamara said.

Vaccination-preventable diseases like mumps, whooping cough and chickenpox are more serious in adults.

“As an adult we just don’t have the ability to fight them off the same.” Traci Kokke, an infectious disease nurse at the Mayo Clinic Health System, said.

La Crosse County reported one case of an adult with chicken pox and three cases of adults with mumps in 2014. Doctors said you can better the situation by keeping kids up to date on vaccinations.

“We do see some families that are hesitant or reluctant to have the children vaccinated and encourage them,” McNamara said.

Getting booster shots also help.

“Adults often lose their immunity overtime that we had as kids,” McNamara said.

For Whooping Cough Adults should get the TDAP vaccine every 10 years.

If you’ve never had the chickenpox or the vaccine you should get it now. Doctors recommend two doses at least for weeks apart.

For mumps anyone born after 1957 should consider a booster of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

During the holidays contagious illnesses spread even quicker, but we’re doing well in our community.

“We currently don’t have any cases of mumps and sporadic chickenpox cases.” Kokke said.