Bordetella pertussis (pertussis), more commonly known as Whooping Cough, is a vaccine preventable disease that mainly affects children less than 1 year of age. Pertussis is highly contagious and is spread through the air via infectious droplets from sneezing or coughing. It gets its common name, "Whooping Cough" from the most characteristic symptom observed in infants and young children; a high-pitched "whoop" sound accompanying a spell of labored coughs. While this is a classic observation in those infected with pertussis, this tell-tale symptom may not always be present.
It is important for us as adults to remain vaccinated against pertussis because most infant cases are transmitted through adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control, infants less than 6 months of age are more likely to die from the disease, and rates of complications increase with decreasing age. These complications may affect the neurological system causing seizures, and secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia.
It is recommended that all pregnant females receive vaccination with a pertussis-containing vaccine, TDap, more commonly known as Boostrix, during the third trimester of EACH pregnancy. The timing of vaccination is key and proper vaccine timing helps provide antibodies while the child is still in utero. Infants, who will begin to receive the vaccines at 2 months of age, will not be adequately protected against pertussis until 3 doses have be given, usually around 6 months of age. It is also suggested that family members and caregivers of newborn infants receive a Tdap vaccine in order to provide as much protection as possible.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the specifics of how to prevent whooping cough, the staff at Richmond Hill Pharmacy and Hinesville Pharmacy is available to assist you.
Richmond Hill Pharmacy: 912-756-3331. Pharmacy hours are 8:30 am – 7:00 pm on weekdays; 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on Saturday; and 12:30 – 5:00 pm on Sunday.
Hinesville Pharmacy: 912-876-8125. Pharmacy hours are 9:00 am – 6:30 pm on weekdays; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturday; and closed on Sunday.