A Big Whooping Deal

Please hold on while I get up on my soapbox.

Kris and I never watch the news at night (unless you count the Daily Show). But last night we happened to be watching the NBC Nightly News and a story about the recent whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak in Washington (and some other states) caught our attention. Then when I was researching a pediatrician this morning, the doctor I chose had recently written a blog post about it.

In a few areas of the US (ours included, a baby in our county recently died from whooping cough) the disease is “back”. The main reason it’s showing up again is that adults aren’t getting the needed booster shot. If an adult gets a mild version (just an annoying cough) they can spread the full blown version to babies, which can be deadly. It’s definitely something to take seriously, especially for us since Kate will have very compromised lungs to start with and since the instance of the disease in Washington has risen so greatly in the past year. Kate would not survive a whooping cough infection, so in my first act of Mama Bear-ness, I sent an email out to our upcoming visitors to check about getting the booster, as well as a flu shot.

If you want more info:

Here is the NBC piece

Here is our pediatrician’s blog

Here is a short video about the booster from our pediatrician

The basic take-away here is that the more adults who are vaccinated, the less chance there is of the disease spreading to babies and children.┬áLots of our friends are having babies and I think it’s important to look into it for them as well as for us. It’s just the tetanus shot with the pertussis vaccince built in – it’s not a huge deal to get, but it can save lives.

There, I’ve stepped down from my soapbox. Thank you for listening :)

10 thoughts on “A Big Whooping Deal

  1. I am not sure about Washington but in California if you have any kind of regular contact with a baby you can get the whooping cough booster for free. You didnt have to prove it, just say you do. I know that our hospital clinic participated in the program (government funded) so you might ask. Everyone who got near Juddy in those first few months got it. I hope that helps! :)

  2. Jana, I love your great technique of getting such important information out there with a little humor. This information is soooo important!!! Before our second granddaughter, Lucia, was born we learned all about this issue. Most people never think about the fact that when they are not immunized against a certain disease, flu, etc. they are putting the most vulnerable at higher risk.

    The most vulnerable include babies & the very young who have not had their whole series of DPT injections (I don’t think the first shot alone gives full protection), the elderly, people who are immune compromised because of chemotherapy or because they are taking immune-suppressing drugs for things like arthritis, etc. and people having HIV/AIDS, or even just people who have problems in their immune system. Another thing we learned about the hard way in our family is that after receiving the vaccine for the Rotovirus–the virus can then be shed & then can be passed in the baby”s diaper for a given period of time–so adults that had mild cases of it or never had it at all can get sick–and believe me that is not a fun thing to have.

    So that would mean proper handwashing after changing a babies diaper is essential always, to reduce the spread of other kinds of germs. I see people all the time changing a diaper without washing their hands, even after spreading diaper rash creme on the babies bum.

    One more thing I’ll do for you–the soapbox is mine for a minute. Johns Hopkins Public Health Department does a commercial on the radio for the importance of hand washing. They spread misinformation when they say something about the hand sanitizing gels & imply or say they are equal to washing your hands. They should only be used either when you cannot wash your hands, or in addition to washing your hands, not instead of washing your hands. The hand sanitizing gels do NOT kill the most common rhino (cold) viruses nor do they kill the C-diff bacteria, a deadly germ (to again the most vulnerable) known to spread through nursing homes, hospitals, day care centers, etc. I saw my own doctor gel his hands instead of washing them several weeks ago–and I was in his office for that horrible chest virus going around!!!! There–I said it! Hand sanitizers also have alcohol in them, which can dry and crack your skin, and then you would be harboring even more bacteria in all those cracks. It’s all about HAND WASHING, HAND WASHING, HANDWASHING with plain old soap and water!

    First thing I do when I’ve been out is head to the sink to wash my hands thoroughly when I come in the house, and I’m not an OCD hand-washing freak–just using good basic common sense. Again–EXCELLENT POINT YOU BROUGHT UP ABOUT GETTING THE tDAP & flu shots for adults.

  3. They give moms the TDAP vaccine while in the hospital right after giving birth in MA. I was a freak about this. I made everyone get it when I was pregnant with Mason. Of course, right before Mason was born, Chris happened to get a needlestick while searching a suspect. He went to the hospital and they gave him a regular tetanus shot. So, he couldn’t get the full TDAP after they did that. He can get it now though! He was so annoyed.

  4. You will be happy to know I had both the flu and whooping cough vaccinations last month and Sierra is up to date as well. :) See you next weekend!! Love you!!

  5. You will be happy to know I had both vaccinations last month and of course Sierra is up to date!! See you next weekend…love you!!

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