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The Dose

A Weekly Shot of News and Notes

Tuesday, March 22, 2005; Page HE02

WHOOPING SHOTS Hoping to halt the rise in whooping cough cases, a Food and Drug Administration panel last week recommended approval of two new booster vaccines.

The drugs are Boostrix, a single-dose vaccine against whooping cough (also known as pertussis), tetanus and diphtheria, designed for people age 10 to 16; and Adacel, intended to protect people ages 11 to 64 from the same three diseases.

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Kids have been vaccinated against whooping cough since the 1940s, but doctors now realize that the protection fades over time. Twenty-five years ago there were about 1,700 U.S. cases of whooping cough per year; today there are 20,000.

The last dose of the vaccine for infants is given before age 7 and over the next 10 to 15 years it wears off. The new shots will extend the immunity well into adulthood.

The FDA generally follows its advisory committees' recommendations.

YOUR APNEA: FIX IT In a high-quality study that confirms previous findings, Spanish researchers report that people who suffer from serious sleep apnea, a condition that disrupts breathing while asleep, face higher risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke.

But a simple, if awkward, treatment that regulates breathing cuts the risk, they write in the Lancet.

The problem affects about 4 percent of middle-aged men and 2 percent of women. Sufferers can stop breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or longer. The standard treatment is known as nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which delivers air through a face mask and hose.

-- From News Services

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