A disease caused by a bacterium called Bordatella Pertussis and it is very infectious. If someone in the house has it, there is a 90% chance that close contacts will get it as well. Usually starts with the symptoms of a cold for a week or so and then the cough starts. It causes paroxysms of coughing that is often followed by a ‘Whoop’ as they gasp to take a breath.
Older children and adults can be sick but they will usually get better. Young infants however may not even cough and the first symptom can be that they stop breathing! Babies continue to die of this disease!
The best treatment for Whooping cough is prevention – VACCINATION! If everyone is vaccinated this bug will almost disappear! Last year there were 2,757 cases of Whooping cough with numbers increasing because people are refusing immunisations and increasing the spread of the disease around the community.
It is recommended that the following immunisations are given:
- At 2, 4 and 6 months for infants
- Booster doses given at 4 years of age
- Booster again between 10-15 years
- Pregnant women in their 3rd trimester
- Fathers and grandparents at least a few weeks before they come into contact with the new baby
- People older than 65 should have a booster if they haven’t had one in the last 10 years.