Jul 15, 2010
Posted in Parenting

Proactive Momma Guide to Preventing Whooping Cough

Whooping cough or pertussis is a highly communicable infection. In case a kin member has pertussis then there is a ninety percent likelihood that other household members could end up contracting it too.

Whooping cough is a niggling concern during adolescence and teen years as well – symptoms of cold ensued by coughing which would take a number of weeks or months on end to subside. Skipped job and schooling are a widespread outcome of this condition. However for non-vaccinated infants, pertussis could be grave or also life-menacing.

Children below one year old who contract pertussis generally have acute ailment necessitating hospitalization and at elevated risk of developing complications like seizure attacks and pneumonia.

Pertussis prevention begins with identifying the manner in which young kids generally contract the Bordetella pertussis bacterium – from other kin members (parent or siblings) who unknowingly transmit the infection to the kid via sneezing or coughing.

Pertussis Immunity Short-Lived

Even though one has been administered the pertussis vaccine it does not offer life-long immunity and its protection ebbs 5-10 years following the last infancy inoculation which leaves grownups and teens prone to infection.

Due to partial immunity due to the infancy vaccination, people experience milder symptoms such as cough-cold and might often not visit their doctor. Such individuals transmit the pertussis bacterium to other individuals. Although older kids and adults are not at a grave risk due to the infection –mild pertussis cough signs could translate to a cough lasting for over a month’s time, generally being causal to sleep deprivation and absenteeism from job or school/college.

The true risk is pertussis being spread to a really young, partially inoculated child.

Un-inoculated Babies Are Particularly Prone to Pertussis

The DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) or pertussis vaccine is classically administered in 5 dosages. The initial 4 injections are administered in the infant’s initial year and half – during two, four, six, fifteen and eighteen months of age. A last dosage is administered in-between four and six years of age.

Following the third dosage, kids are well-shielded with an eighty to 85% protection from whooping cough. Even when they do contract the disease in spite of the vaccination, the infection is generally mild-ranging.

However, in their initial 6 months – and especially in the initial 2 months of life prior to infants being inoculated, they are particularly susceptible to grave whooping cough infections.

Due to this reason, babies below 2 months of age with whooping cough, acute sickness is often the case. Around 90% of them need to be hospitalized, 1 among 5 would contract pneumonia and 1% would face death due to pertussis.

Whooping Cough Prevention in Your Family

The foremost most vital rule of thumb in case of pertussis prevention is vaccination. This would mean being present for usual paediatrician’s visits wherein the infant would be inoculated as per standard schedule and would guarantee earlier immunity to the baby. One is thus also assisting in protecting other kids via the so-dubbed ‘herd immunity’.  Greater numbers of kids being vaccinated on the whole would mean lesser whooping cough being transmitted amongst themselves.

Since the vaccination’s shielding does not truly become potent till the third shot, subsequent to the kid turning six months of age, hence it is vital to thwart the transmission of pertussis in-between kin members prior to that time.

According to the CDC recommendation, pertussis booster vaccination (known as Tdap) for all people in-between the age band of eleven and 64 years is to be administered once. It offers around ninety percent restored immunity from whooping cough. It is yet unclear the length of time protection would last, however it seems to be a minimal of 5 years.

The Tdap booster vaccine additionally revamps immunity from tetanus and diphtheria and in majority of the individuals it is a booster to the formerly taken DTaP vaccine.

The Tdap vaccine could be offered at any instant, though its spacing is mostly done in case there are other vaccinations and boosters to be lately administered. Among kin with newly born infants, in the household, all those over eleven years of age must be given the Tdap vaccine.

Antibiotic Therapy for Slowing Pertussis Spread

Pertussis is curable with the use of antibiotics like clarithromycin, azithromycin, erythromycin, sulamethoxazole. Any person whose pertussis diagnosis has been found in the initial couple of weeks of coughing must be started on antibiotics for reducing symptoms and spreading to those around.

Since whooping cough is vastly infectious hence other kin members must additionally take antibiotics for preventing the development and spread of the disease. Based on the scenario, those close to the child in school or crèche or day care might additionally require antibiotics to be taken.

Other Pointers for Preventing Pertussis

Always maintaining hand sanitation and using alcohol-derived rubs following contact with nose emanations. Covering the mouth and nose when one coughs or sneezes and encouraging others around to also follow this practice.

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