Sick Days

Beware of Whooping Cough

Since 2001, pertussis (or whooping cough) cases have tripled. (To hear what it sounds like, visit, the Web site for Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases.) That's why your baby should be immunized against it at 2, 4, and 6 months, then between 15 and 18 months and again between 4 and 6 years. Babies younger than 6 months have the highest risk of getting pertussis-related pneumonia and dying, and because unvaccinated infants are vulnerable to infection, their caregivers and everyone else in close contact with the baby (like teenage siblings) should get the shot even if they received it as children. Why? Immunity wanes over time.

Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the December 2007 issue of American Baby magazine.

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