Pertussis is the medical term for “Whooping cough.”

As a child, you received at least five DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus) shots. We thought these would be the last Pertussis shots you would ever need. Not so. Your immunity wanes after a decade. Pertussis is on the rise in Virginia and around the country.

Authorities recommend a booster shot for all adults. In 2006, Pertussis was added to the standard tetanus shot (Td) under the name Adacel and commonly referred to as Tdap. If your last tetanus shot was before 2006, you did not get the Tdap booster. If your tetanus shot was in the past four years, you may have gotten a Tdap … or the standard Td.

When was your last tetanus shot? Was it the Tdap?

Your doctor or your parents should know. Or email the Student Health Center and ask us to review your immunization record. We have the Tdap shot if you need it.

With a little prevention, you and the UMW campus will be healthier.