Whooping Cough

Protecting newborns from pertussis

Dear Mayo Clinic: I am four months pregnant and live in an area where there has been a pertussis outbreak. What's the best way to keep my newborn baby safe until he or she can get the vaccine?

Aug 24, 2017
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Pertussis, also known as whooping cough ( /ˈhuːpɪŋ kɒf/ or /ˈhwuːpɪŋ kɒf/), is a highly contagious bacterial disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. In some countries, this disease is called the 100 days' cough or cough of 100 days.

Symptoms are initially mild, and then develop into severe coughing fits, which produce the namesake high-pitched "whoop" sound in infected babies and children when they inhale air after coughing. The coughing stage lasts for approximately six weeks before subsiding.

Prevention via vaccination is of primary importance as treatment is of little clinical benefit to the person infected. Antibiotics, however, do decrease the duration of infectiousness and are thus recommended. It is estimated that the disease currently affects 48.5 million people yearly, resulting in nearly 295,000 deaths.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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