Medically known as pertussis, whopping cough has been increasing since the 1980s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organization states that four out of five babies with whopping cough acquire it at home. People sick with whooping cough have trouble breathing, making it particularly dangerous for babies. The CDC further states that half of infants with whooping cough have been hospitalized. This is a serious disease.
According to the CDC, "1 out of 4 (23%) get pneumonia (lung infection); 1 out of 100 (1.1%) will have convulsions (violent, uncontrolled shaking); 3 out of 5 (61%) will have apnea (slowed or stopped breathing); 1 out of 300 (0.3%) will have encephalopathy (disease of the brain); and 1 out of 100 (1%) will die."
People of any age can become ill with whooping cough. About a week after exposure, cold-like symptoms manifest. But for some patients, whopping cough symptoms don't show up for a few weeks. What's scary is that in babies, the tell-tale whooping cough isn't as evident for some. Little ones may exhibit sleep apnea.
Babies experience runny nose, low-grade fever and general cold symptoms. Many parents--and doctors--don't even think it's whooping cough at this point.
At about two weeks, rapid-fire coughing with a whooping sound begins. Infants may vomit because of their coughing. They often cough so hard that they exhaust themselves from it.
Infants often cough more at night and coughing fits come more often.
The best way to protect your baby is immunization. If you're expecting, follow your OB-GYN's advice to receive a Tdap shot. Everyone in your family and who cares for your child should be up-to-date on pertussis immunization. Talk with those who manage your child's daycare to ensure all the workers are current on their shots and discuss vaccination with other parents in your social circles.
You should also follow your doctor's guidelines for your baby's immunizations. They typically recommend five doses of whooping cough vaccine: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months and 4 to 6 years.
It's also wise to keep your infant away from anyone with cold-like symptoms.
Are you vaccinated? I am. I take this very seriously with all the little ones I encounter. Newborns are super susceptible at their young age with their immature immune systems. I am fully vaccinated, and stay up to date to ensure I don't pass along something I'm maybe not even sure I have! And, if you're searching for a newborn photographer for your baby, make sure that whoever you book is vaccinated too!