Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Protect Your New Baby From Pertusis

What is Pertusis? Pertusis, or whooping cough, is a serious illness that begins like a cold with a runny nose, sneezing and a cough. It progresses though to a much more serious cough. About half of all infants who develop whooping cough will need to be hospitalized and it can be deadly in 1 in 100 infants who catch the illness. In 80% of cases, the source turns out to be a family member.
How do you become immune? If you grew up in the United States and received your childhood immunizations, you probably received a combination vaccination for protection from tetanus, diptheria, and pertusis, called DTaP. It is then followed up with an additional shot, called Tdap, during adolescence (between 11-19 years of age) and during adulthood (between 19-64). However, after 5 years, this immunity can begin to wane. A booster shot to re-gain immunity is recommended every 5 years. A child is not fully immune to this disease until they have received their third vaccination for it.

Ask your family members and others who will be around your child to make sure that they are immune! You can use the link above to help you locate the nearest immunization clinic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Panel is now recommending that pregnant women receive the vaccine if they have not received the DTaP or the TDaP vaccinations in over 5 years. The current CDC recommendation is that a woman receive a TDaP vaccine after giving birth, but this may soon be updated. A pregnant woman shares her antibodies with her newborn to help protect them, as well as herself from acquiring the disease.

Pertussis outbreaks have been occuring in New York and can occur anywhere.

Please talk with your doctor, midwife or pediatrician about Pertusis and protecting yourself and your family.

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