Thursday, October 21st, 2010
We’re in the midst of a whooping cough epidemic. In California alone, 5,978 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, have been reported. And tragically, 10 babies there have died of whooping cough. The latest death is so upsetting not only for the obvious reasons but because whooping cough deaths are preventable. Babies themselves can’t be immunized until they’re 2 months old, which is often the time they’re most vulnerable to whooping cough symptoms. (Infants are considered at high risk for pertussis until they’re 1 and have had three shots of the DTap vaccine that protects against diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis.) Up to 75 percent of babies who contract the disease get it from someone in their own home. We’ll break down the precautionary steps for you.
If you’re pregnant, make sure that anyone who’s going to be around your baby—including your partner, your parents, your in-laws, your older children, and your babysitter—has had the booster for Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) within the last five years.
If you’ve recently given birth and haven’t had the booster in the last five years, get the Tdap vaccine.
If you’re going to be around a newborn and haven’t had the booster in the last five years, get the Tdap vaccine.
See the pattern here? Get the Tdap vaccine.
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