Whooping cough is an extremely contagious respiratory infection which causes uncontrolled coughing and vomiting. The effects of the disease can go on for several months and is particularly dangerous for babies under the age of 12 months. Until babies have had at least two doses of vaccine aged four months, they are at great risk of this disease as their mother’s antibodies don’t provide reliable protection.
Increasing vaccination coverage has dramatically reduced the incidence of whooping cough among Australian children. However, it remains a highly infectious and dangerous disease. In a household where someone has whooping cough, an estimated 80-90% of the unimmunised contacts of that person will acquire the disease.
The best way to prevent whooping cough is with immunisation, which is available at Parkes GP. If you are an expectant mother, you should have a booster during your pregnancy and anyone in the family including grandparents, aunties and siblings can get theirs at any time before the baby is born. For more information, contact Parkes GP on 6862 6668.