Experts say we have to stay vigilant in fighting viruses like whooping cough or we could risk frequent outbreaks.


FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- Most experts say there is a low possibility that the Ebola virus could cause outbreaks in the United States, but there are concerns about diseases that were once considered under control in this country making a deadly comeback.

Dr. Russell Libby of Inova Children's Hospital says we have to stay vigilant in fighting these viruses or we could risk frequent outbreaks that will put may lives at risk.

Dr. Libby says, "We've had outbreaks of measles in the last few years because families have been worried about the MMR vaccine and avoided that. We've had somewhere close to 600 cases so far this year in 2014."

One in 7 are hospitalized with complications from measles, killing over 1 million people worldwide.

The California Department of Health is reporting a whooping cough epidemic, raising concerns for the upcoming school year. The last major epidemic saw over 12,000 cases

"Over 10 kids under the age of 6 months died from whooping cough in that epidemic. Most of it was concentrated in those areas where families chose not to immunize their children," adds Dr. Libby.

Experts say skipping vaccines can cause harm to your family and others in your community. Many local governments are requiring extra booster shots for teenagers before they can attend school.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get Tdap booster shots every ten years. This protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

Adults should check with their physician to see if other booster shots are needed.

Dr. Libby says vaccines have been proven to be safe for everyone.

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