According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado ranked within the top ten states for pertussis (whooping cough) cases in 2014. The disease can be a minor inconvenience for adults, but it can be a very dangerous disease for children.
Caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium, whooping cough is an infection that causes horrible coughing fits among children. Eventually, the coughing fits become so bad that the body is unable to take in oxygen properly, causing the distinct “whooping noise”. If left untreated, life-threatening complications, such as pneumonia and convulsions, may arise.
Pertussis is often spread through the air whenever someone with the disease coughs or sneezes, much like influenza. Infected people are most contagious during the first two weeks since the start of coughing. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of pertussis are also the symptoms of the common cold, making it very difficult to detect the disease prior the development of the disease’s distinct whooping noise.
Fortunately, your child’s pediatrician in Westminster can help your child avoid contracting whooping cough. The DTaP vaccine protects your child from pertussis (the vaccine also provides immunization from diphtheria and tetanus). Generally, this vaccine is given to children periodically starting as early as two months old.
You may have noticed that the vaccine cannot be given to an infant younger than two months old. The question now is: how do we protect children younger than two months old? The answer is also vaccination. By vaccinating everyone in the household, you are able to shield your young child from the disease through the concept of “herd immunity”. In simple terms, this concept states that if everyone is unable to contract a certain disease, it is highly unlikely that those who are prone to that disease will catch it since the disease has no entry point.
If you are expecting a new member of the family any time soon, now would be a good time to look for a trusted pediatrics practice in Westminster, such as Indian Crest Pediatrics. Take the time to discuss and learn more about the vital immunizations your child should receive within their first year.
Whooping cough, mayoclinic.org
CO among top 10 states for whooping cough cases, legacy.9news.com