You should call the doctor if you suspect that your child has whooping cough or has been exposed to someone with whooping cough, even if your child has already received all scheduled pertussis immunizations.

Your child should be examined by a doctor if he or she has prolonged coughing spells, especially if these spells: make your child turn red or purple, are followed by vomiting, or are accompanied by a whooping sound when your child breathes in after coughing.

If your child has been diagnosed with whooping cough and is being treated at home, seek immediate medical care if he or she has difficulty breathing or shows signs of dehydration.


Before a vaccine was available, pertussis killed 5,000 to 10,000 people in the United States each year. Now, the pertussis vaccine has reduced the annual number of deaths to less than 30. But in recent years, the number of cases has started to rise. By 2004, the number of whooping cough cases spiked past 25,000, the highest level it’s been since the 1950s. It’s mainly affected infants who are younger than six months old before they are adequately protected by their immunizations, and kids who are 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has faded.

Although whooping cough can occur at any age, it’s most severe in unimmunized children and in infants under 1 year of age (early immunization can usually prevent this serious disease in babies). But more cases have been reported in teens and adults, because their immunity has faded since their original vaccination. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently recommended that kids who are 11-18 years old get a booster shot that includes a pertussis vaccine, preferably when they are 11 to 12 years old.

So i can’t seem to get enough of Jennifer apparently. Forgive me, but i just love commercials.

Thirty years ago, whooping cough had nearly disappeared. Today, it’s back. The epidemic has already killed 10 babies and infected thousands of children this year in California. KPBS and the Watchdog Institute at SDSU are working together to look at who’s getting sick, facts about the vaccine, and how public health agencies have responded.

*Okay so this video is looong, and starts to get a little boring.. not gonna lie. Check it out for a minute tho!!

An outbreak of pertussis or whooping cough in California has likely caught many people by surprise, after all, most kids get vaccines to protect them against pertussis as infants and toddlers, and a booster before they start kindergarten.

There is even a newer tetanus booster shot (Tdap) that includes the pertussis vaccine to help teens and adults get renewed protection against pertussis, which is important, since the immunity that the pertussis vaccine offers is at its strongest for only about 3 years and then gradually decreases over the next 2 to 7 years.

Pertussis Outbreak- So why is pertussis still a problem? Many teens and adults haven’t gotten the Tdap vaccine yet, can still get sick with pertussis, and can infect infants who haven’t completed their three dose primary series of pertussis vaccines when they are about six months old.  The fact that some parents are refusing vaccines or using alternative immunization schedules likely isn’t helping prevent these types of outbreaks of vaccine preventable infections either.

California Pertussis Outbreak- So far in California, as of November 2, 2010, there are 6,431 confirmed, probable and suspect cases of pertussis, with the highest rates in children under three to six month of age.  Younger infants also have the highest rates of hospitalization and the most deaths, which has now increased to a total of ten.  To help combat this outbreak, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is urging that everyone get vaccinated against pertussis, including:

  • anyone 7 years and older who is not fully immunized, including those who are more than 64 years old
  • women of childbearing age, before, during, or immediately after pregnancy, and
  • other people who have contact with pregnant women or infants.

Preventing a Pertussis Outbreak- Even if you are not in California, this outbreak should be a reminder of how serious pertussis infections are and the importance of pertussis vaccines.  Keep in mind that in addition to completing the Dtap series of shots before starting kindergarten and getting a Dtap booster shot when they are 11 to 12 years old (or when they are older if they missed it), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 64 get a Tdap vaccine if it has been 10 or more years since their last tetanus booster shot.

Adults who will have contact  with infants less than 12 months old , including parents, grandparents over 65, child-care providers, and health care workers, should get a Tdap vaccine if they have not had one yet, even if it has been less than 10 years since their last tetanus booster.

Natalie Norton, from the previous post, wrote this about her son Gavin…

Gavin David Bruce Norton

October 24, 2009- January 7, 2010

For the last few days,

our baby was the most

loved and prayed for baby

in the world.


Thank you for that.

God is real.

God is good.

Because of the atoning sacrifice and resurrection of

Jesus Christ,

we will live together again.


The sounds of pertussis is an organization created by the march of dimes to spread awareness about the threat of pertussis.  It shares chilling information, facts about where to get vaccinated, and gives you the opportunity to help make a difference.

Make sure to check out natalie norton’s story under the category what is pertussis?

Here’s the link:

What is whooping cough? What does it sound like? Is it contagious?  These are just a few of the questions people might have about Pertussis… so here are some facts.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease that affects the lungs.  It is known as Pertussis because it is caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis.

The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of the common cold:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • mild cough
  • low-grade fever

After a few weeks, nasty coughing spells will begin to develop, which can make breathing very difficult.  When you try and take a breath, a deep “whooping” sound is often heard at the end, therefore explaining why it was named the whooping cough.  Whooping cough is highly contagious and when a person coughs, tiny bacteria are sent through the air or by contact and easily spread from person to person.  It can however be prevented with the pertussis vaccine which is part of the DTaP immunization.