Whooping Cough Vaccine Around Infants – Whooping cough can lead to pneumonia (severe lung infection, seizures, brain damage, apnea, death (illustration of a hospital with a sign saying ‘Approximately half of children under 1 year with whooping cough are hospitalized’).
Pertussis symptoms: low-grade fever, fatigue after coughing attacks, vomiting during or after coughing attacks, runny nose, apnea – children may stop breathing, paroxysms – coughing attacks followed by a high-pitched “scream”, children with little or no cough can
Whooping Cough Vaccine Around Infants
(Illustration of child’s body; symptoms are listed, each indicating a relevant location on the body, such as the neck area for apnea)
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Since 2010, we see between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough in the United States each year. The cases, involving people of all ages, are reported in every state. (Continental US map illustration covered in dots)
Make sure your child gets all 5 doses of the DTaP vaccine to protect against whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus…
Pregnant women should get the pertussis vaccine every pregnancy to help protect their newborn until they get the DTaP vaccine at 2 months of age. (Portrait of a pregnant woman)
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Whooping Cough Vaccine Preventable Diseases Infographic
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For the latest information on whooping cough, why we still have an outbreak and what we can do to protect our families and communities, we have written a summary article published by Kidspot which can be accessed via this link.
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It spreads through direct contact when an infected person coughs or sneezes or with discharge from the nose or throat, and the time between onset of symptoms and development is usually 7 to 21 days.
Whooping cough starts slowly, with little or no fever and a mild cough. Gradually gets worse over 1-2 weeks. This is the most contagious stage of the disease, but because the symptoms are relatively mild, it often goes undiagnosed at this time. In other words, most people pass it before they realize they have it.
In the second week of the disease, the cough worsens up to frequent violent coughing attacks (paroxysms), but not always, then a big sigh at the end of the paroxysm is characteristic. After the paroxysm has passed, the person may vomit or pass out. Activities such as laughing, yawning, talking, and exercising can all trigger coughing. Breathing in vapors, smoke, or other irritants can also cause paroxysms and are often worse at night.
A cough of this intensity can last 2 months or more, and the total duration of the disease is usually 3 months.
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In people who have had the disease before or who have been vaccinated, this disease pattern doesn’t always occur, may be milder, and may not have the same characteristics.
This is a video of a child with whooping cough. Warning: This link shows a child having a pertussis attack. It’s confront, don’t look at it unless you feel strong or want to show someone who suspects how bad this disease could be.
In adolescents and adults, coughing fits can be so violent that rib fractures, hernia development, incontinence (both urinary and fecal), vomiting, and fainting can occur. More serious complications such as intracerebral hemorrhage, stroke, and seizures can rarely occur.
In children, the disease can cause feeding difficulties, vomiting and choking, periods of respiratory arrest, cyanosis (turning blue from lack of oxygen), bradycardia (slow heart rate), pneumonia, and seizures.
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UK statistics looking at all pertussis cases from 1998 to 2009 found a cumulative case fatality rate (CFR) among laboratory-confirmed newborns of 24 laboratory-confirmed deaths/1,000 cases (i.e. 2.4 deaths per 100 cases ). It varies according to the age of the child, with a low mortality rate of 43/1000 in infants aged 28 to 55 days (in the second month of life).
This image shows a child being placed on ECMO. A team of critical care medical experts is fighting to try and save lives.
There are several reasons pertussis is so dangerous in very young children, especially when they are too old to get the vaccine. They are also much smaller and more vulnerable to violent coughing fits, but even in very young children this disease can cause a very high number of white blood cells (lymphocytosis). If this happens, these blood cells can cause a mechanical blockage of blood flow to the lungs, resulting in the baby not getting enough oxygen in the blood and the heart struggling to pump against the blockage. Sometimes the only option at this stage is to use ECMO (extracorporeal membranous oxygenation), which involves taking the baby’s blood, passing it through a machine to absorb oxygen and extract carbon dioxide, and return the blood. child If it is necessary, unfortunately, with a mortality rate of around 70%, the chances of survival are very slim.
ECMO is a supportive treatment of last resort, not a cure, but an attempt to sustain life while the disease runs its course. In theory, it’s similar to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine (a technique similar to one used for open heart surgery), but patients needing ECMO may need to be on the machine for weeks. This can sometimes save a life, but it is associated with many complications and sometimes, unfortunately, even ECMO is not enough. Here are some notes from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in the UK for more information on ECMO.
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It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes or by direct contact with secretions from the nose or throat. The time between exposure and the development of symptoms is usually 7-21 days.
Whooping cough is most contagious in the early stages of the disease, when the cold resembles the common cold, so by the time people often realize how bad it is, they’ve already passed it on.
It is highly contagious, as evidenced by the fact that about 90% of those predisposed to close contact with the patient will contract it (susceptible are those who have not been vaccinated, boosted or have not had the disease previously).
Treatment is supportive. This means that there is no specific treatment available to cure you after contracting the disease. Rather, the goal should be to support the body and vital functions over time and the natural course of the infection.
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Supportive care includes ICU-level support such as oxygen and fluids, ventilation, and ECMO for life-threatening illnesses.
Antibiotics make no difference to the course of the disease. That’s because it’s the toxins, not the bacteria, that cause the damage. Antibiotics may clear the infection, but it makes no difference to the damage caused by the toxins. However, they are given early in the course of the disease to reduce the chance of passing the infection on to others. Those who are in close contact with sick people (especially very young children) may also be given prophylactic antibiotics to try to keep them from getting sick. Known contacts may also be offered a booster vaccine.
A whole cell pertussis vaccine was used before 1990. Although it led to lifelong immunity, it was feared that it was causing some serious side effects. The current vaccine used today is safe and effective in preventing serious disease, but the protection it provides does not last long. The current vaccine is called “acellular” because it doesn’t contain the whole bacteria (it can’t cause disease).
Current recommendations in Australia are for women to receive a booster during pregnancy, and then for all infants to receive a primary course, with one dose at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months.
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