* This post is by Rouett Abouzelof re-posted from an old Primary Children's blog.
There is a bad coughing illness in your child’s community. This illness is frequently spread by teenagers and adults to children. Sometimes teens and adults complain that they have a bad cough that just won’t go away. They might not worry too much about the cough or they might think the cough is due to allergies. It might not make them too sick, so they tend to forget that it’s not normal to be coughing.
But babies and children who get this coughing illness can be very sick, and sometimes their cough is so bad they need to be cared for in the hospital. This bad coughing illness has a name – Pertussis. It is also called Whooping Cough
because coughing can be so forcefully that a “whooping sound” follows the coughing. Sometimes vomiting can follow the coughing, too.
In Utah we are having a serious outbreak of Pertussis. There are things you can do to prevent you or your child from getting sick with Pertussis. The best way to prevent this disease is to make sure that both children and adults are immunized against Pertussis. Here are the recommendations:
- Babies should be immunized at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
- Toddlers need another immunization between 15-18 months of age.
- Children need one more immunization between 4-6 years of age.
- Teens need a booster immunization – depending on previous immunization history, this booster can be given as early at 10 years of age.
- Adults should get immunized too. Women with new babies are encouraged to get a booster shot before they go home from the hospital. This booster shot will help protect their baby from Pertussis until the baby is old enough to be immunized.
Check with your healthcare provider if:
- You don’t know you or your child’s immunization status.
- You or your child get a forceful, coughing illness, have difficulty breathing, or vomit after coughing.
- You or your child have close contact (especially to family members) who have a bad coughing illness.
And remember that it’s not normal to be coughing.