Over the summer, more than 30 cases of whooping cough have been confirmed in children in Crown Heights, reports the office of local physician Dr. Eli Rosen.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.
Adults and older children who develop whooping cough may suffer from a very prolonged cough illness which is usually not dangerous.
How can I protect my children?
At this time, science at this time suggests that vaccination, while not fool-proof, is the best way of preventing transmission and protecting against contracting whooping cough.
Who can be vaccinated?
1. Expectant mothers can be immunized after 30 weeks in pregnancy so that they transfer protection to their newborn infant prior to birth.
2. New mothers can be vaccinated in order to not contract the illness and protect infants and other children from exposure to the disease
3. Siblings and fathers of newborns in order to not contract the illness and protect other children from exposure to the disease.
4. Infants starting at 2 months of age can receive their first dose of whooping cough vaccine. In order to provide full immunity, 3 doses of vaccine are necessary in the first year of life. All of the above can hopefully protect newborn infants and others from developing this illness and thus as much as possible ensure their safety.
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