Did I Hear a WHOOP?

As a Texas Aggie, I generally love to hear a “WHOOP” (especially during football season- gig ’em, Ags!) However, as a doctor, the word or sound “whoop” triggers concerns about Pertussis, the bacteria that causes whooping cough, which has been unfortunately on the rise in our community and across the United States.

What is whooping cough?

This highly infectious respiratory disease only infects humans, and causes nearly 50 million cases of disease each year. In the United States, we only see around 40,000 documented cases/year, but certainly have many more infections that are not recognized and treated.  Smokers, asthmatics, infants, … Read more

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When was Your Last Tetanus Shot?

Since it’s time for everyone’s annual FLU VACCINE, I thought I’d take a few posts and reflect on a couple other vaccines. Today, let’s talk about the TETANUS vaccine.

What does the tetanus vaccine do? Most people have heard that if you “step on a rusty nail”, you should make sure you are up to date on your tetanus booster. Actually, this should be true for any significant breaks in the skin such as burns, puncture wounds or “road rash”.  The tetanus vaccine boosts our immunity to the bacteria called Clostridium tetani, an organism that lives all around us, but … Read more

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