Your Nagging Cough Could Kill Someone’s Baby

Shot of Prevention

I could hear it clearly from across the auditorium.  A distinctive cough in a very small child.  It was painful to my ears and I brought a sinking feeling to my heart.  My daughter glanced over at me, alerted by the same sound, and we both mouthed those two horrible words…”whooping cough”.

In 2012 48,277 people were diagnosed with a bacterial infection known as Bordetella pertussis.  Also known as whooping cough, pertussis can cause severe coughing that can last for weeks or even months.  It is spread through droplets in the air and is extremely contagious.  In fact, when someone in the house has it, virtually everyone else in the house that is not immune will also get it.

In children pertussis is often identified by the “whooping” sound that is heard as they desperately try to catch their breath between coughs.  The coughing spells can be so bad that it’s difficult to eat, drink, sleep or breathe for weeks…

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