Health Alert — Whooping Cough Cases on the Rise in Louisiana
It's real name is Pertussis, but we all know it as whooping cough. At one time, this could actually be fatal, but thanks to modern medicine, it doesn't have to be fatal anymore and there are several things you can do to prevent the disease.
Of course, those at greatest risk are babies. The good news is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it is easily preventable with the help of a whooping cough vaccine. Louisiana had 90 cases of whooping cough in the most recent surveillance from 2014. While vaccines do not offer 100 percent protection, they are the most effective preventative tool in protecting vulnerable newborns from contagious diseases.
KPLC interviewed Dr. James Barrow who is an OB/GYN says that
"Anybody planning to have a newborn baby should have all people that are going to be in contact with the child, vaccinated, and the mother should have a booster in her third trimester,"
Pertussis is spread from person-to-person through coughs and sneezes. That is why Dr. Barrow says any person planning to be around a baby needs to get the Tdap booster. According to Dr. Barrow, the booster passes the immunity on to the baby thereby eliminating the vulnerable period between the ages of zero and three months.
While the trademark symptom of whooping cough is a distinct cough, it is important to know that many babies with whooping cough do not cough at all. Instead it causes them to stop breathing and turn blue.