Whooping Cough Disease
3. Hospitals now offer new mothers the Tdap booster vaccine. Why is it recommended that adults and adolescents get booster shots for pertussis when it is infants that are most at risk for dying from the disease? 4. Assume that you were vaccinated for pertussis as a child and developed active immunity to the bacteria. Describe the chain of events that gave you a population of memory B cells, which can quickly produce plasma cells that can in turn produce antibodies that can recognize Bordetella pertussis. Be specific! 5. Pertussis outbreaks in California have made news headlines in recent years. Nearly 6,000 cases were reported in 2010 making it the worst outbreak in 60 years. Some doctors believe that parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are contributing to the problem. Schools require that children are up to date on their vaccination schedules. However, they may opt out by claiming a Personal Belief Exemption. At some schools, Personal Belief Exemptions are over 20% and even reach rates of 70%. Using what we having learned about herd immunity, how might this contribute to the large number of outbreaks in California? What % of the population must be vaccinated in order for herd immunity to occur? 6. Some parents are fearful of the side effects of vaccines. Briefly, do you think that parents should be allowed to refuse vaccinations for their children? You should use what you have learned about the spread of disease, vaccination, and immunity to help you form your opinion. 7. Briefly describe the recent measles outbreak linked to Disneyland. Who is at risk for contracting measles at Disneyland? Would you take an infant to Disneyland? If you were a Disney executive, what actions would you have taken, if any? Edit: I typically ask what students think a theme park should do in response to an infectious disease outbreak. I never anticipated the closures that we are seeing now in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of this development, for #7, you may answer what you think it would take for people to be comfortable returning to themeparks. There are no right or wrong answers for these type of questions. I just want to see that you are applying some knowledge of microbiology to your answer.