If you’re a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or in the midst of certified nursing assistant training at the Allen School, you may want to keep tabs on the following story I came across over at Wired.com. It seems that there has been a statistically significant increase in the numbers of childhood pertussis (better known as the whooping cough) among children and teens in the last few years. Evidently, the vaccine we’ve been giving children (3-times during childhood) was changed about 20 years ago. The older variety of whooping cough vaccine, while proven more effective, also had a higher number of people reporting side effects. So the newer version was developed to replace it. However, now that doctors and CNAs in the US and Australia are grappling with what may be an epidemic of whooping cough, there is concern about this vaccine. Medical professionals are cautious about pointing to the vaccine as they do not wish to add any fuel to the “anti-vaccination” movement which incorrectly attributes autism-spectrum disorders to changes in childhood vaccines. Regardless, there will need to be some change in the way childhood pertussis is vaccinated against before this disease rears its ugly head again. If you’re interested in learning more details about this issue as a certified nursing assistant or certified nursing assistant student, you can read Wired.com’s well attributed article here.