Whooping Cough

Health Warning on Whooping Cough (2015)

The Chief Health Officer of the Department of Human Services Victoria announced:

Between 1 January 2014 and 6 January 2015 there were a total of 4,606 cases of pertussis notified to the Department of Health and Human Services which represents a 56 per cent increase in cases compared to the same time in 2013. In particular, between 2013 and 2014, cases amongst the 10-14 year age group increased by 43 per cent. Cases in infants aged less than six months increased by 38 per cent over the same time period with a total of 76 cases in 2014, compared with 55 in 2013.

We recommend that you check that all members of your household are up to date with their immunisations including children and adults. Whooping cough is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing.

An adult whooping cough booster is recommended if you have not had a whooping cough booster if ten years has elapsed since your last dose.  Your baby's first whooping cough vaccination is available when they are two months old.

Use In Pregnancy

Whopping cough is a very serious illness for babies less than 12 months of age.  It can lead to severe complications, permanent disability (brain, lung) and death.  It is recommended that pregnant women be immunized during the third trimester of pregnancy.  The optimal time frame for vaccination is between 28-32 weeks of pregnancy.  These antibodies will cross the placenta and protect the baby in their first few months of life before he/she is vaccinated.  If you haven't had the vaccine in pregnancy you should have it postpartum.  Parents and any other adults who will care for the baby should have a vaccine booster if more than 10 years has elapsed since a previous dose.  This should ideally be done at least two weeks prior to beginning contact with the infant.

If you have any questions please discuss it with us or your general practitioner.

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