Whooping cough, commonly known as Pertussis is a highly contagious and deadly respiratory disease. It spreads by coughing, sneezing while in close contact with an infected person. It spread easily between family members. Many infants who are infected by whooping cough got transmitted from their older siblings, parents, or caregivers.The symptoms start off like common cold that includes runny nose, sneezing, cough, and fever for 7 to 14 days. Then it starts to worsen with uncontrollable coughing that can last 1 to 2 months.Whooping cough occurs mostly in children under 5 years old, and it can cause very serious complication on babies(under 1 year old) who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated . The complications during the severe coughing stage include pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or even death. Older children and adults may also get whooping cough as the protection from the immunization last for 5 – 10 years after the last dose.How to prevent Whooping Cough?
Vaccination is the best protection against Whooping cough. Vaccination against diphtheria, pertussis(whooping cough), tetanus are normally combined into one injection called “DPaT”. Adults are also encouraged to immunize themselves from whooping cough as it helps to reduce the risk of transmission of infection to babies who are too young to be fully immunized themselves.
When to take vaccination?
The vaccination is usually given to a baby at 3 months of age and repeated at 4 and 5 months of age. The booster is given at 18 months of age.
The DTaP vaccination may cause fever, tenderness, redness and swelling in the area where the child was injected. These symptoms may last one to two days.
Source: Health Promotion Board