Pertussis, or whooping cough, is more common than you might think. It is a disease that affects the lungs and is spread from person to person through the air. Pertussis can be very serious, especially in babies. Parents, siblings and other caregivers of infants are often the ones who unknowingly spread pertussis to babies. Research has shown that up to 80% of babies catch the disease from family members, which is why it’s so important that adults and adolescents, especially those in close contact with an infant receive a dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine. Pregnant women who haven’t received a dose of Tdap should receive the vaccine preferably in the late second or third trimester. If Tdap was not given during pregnancy, new mothers should receive it right after delivery.
DTaP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis) is given to children through six years of age. Infants should begin their DTaP routine immunization series at 2 months and are probably not protected until they have been given at least 3 doses. If you are not protected, your baby may not be protected.
Click here to read more about Whooping Cough from the Minnesota Department of Health.