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Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Immunizations for Caretakers

Posted Sep 28 2012 4:17pm

Jane Brody had an excellent article in the 9/25/12 New York Times where she discussed a subject that most parents and doctors probably don't give much consideration. Whooping Cough is still very much with us. it is not a nice disease to have and deaths can result in infants, children, and the elderly. I still vividly remember having the disease the summer I was four or five. I whooped all summer and the next door neighbors were not happy to hear my whoops all summer, as our bathroom was across from their bedroom. Fortunately, I had no complications from the disease, unlike the problems that many babies and the elderly have.

The vaccine has now been found to not last as long as many of the other vaccines. Thus, the recommendation is that fathers of newborns and children have a booster and even pregnant women should have boosters late in the second trimester or third trimester. Anyone caring for infants, children, or the elderly should also have a booster. The article doesn't mention nurses or doctors, but that would also seem to make sense if they care of infants, children, or the elderly.

The article stated that by the end of August there have already been 25,000 cases and thirteen deaths, mostly in babies under a year of age. The booster is also recommended for older people up to age 64, which seems a strange cut-off age.

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