Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Big Deal

Today, one of my favorite photographers wrote this post about Pertussis (Whooping Cough). It's short, read it!

She lost her 7-week-old baby to this disease. Can you imagine giving birth to a perfectly healthy, sturdy, blonde baby boy, and only weeks later, wind up in the hospital, thinking it's the sniffles, then diagnosed with RSV?? Then, only just after that, diagnosed with Pertussis. A communicable disease that is preventable. Her baby passed away. With all the medical help available to him, he still passed away.

Matilda gets her first round of immunizations (including Pertussis, Tetanus, and ones that help prevent Pneumonia and Meningitis) in a week or so.

Jake and I got the adult vaccine for Pertussis (Tdap) at our local health department a few weeks ago. My pediatrician advised anyone coming in contact with an infant under 12 months of age get this shot. It was $49. Totally worth it. The vaccine you got when you were younger was only good for 10 years.

Just one human life is so very valuable.


Pertussis, better known as whooping cough, is a very contagious bacterial infection and one of the most common vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. Whooping cough causes coughing spells so severe that it's hard for children to eat, drink, or breathe. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

Before the vaccine was introduced in the 1940s, about 147,000 U.S. children came down with whooping cough every year. The number of cases in the United States dropped to a historic low of 1,010 in 1976 but then rose again, with more than 25,000 reported in 2005 as adolescents who had been vaccinated as babies lost their immunity and more babies went unvaccinated. 
To counter this trend, an additional shot called the Tdap is now recommended at age 11 or 12. And one Tdap shot is also recommended, now, for adults who didn't have one during adolescence. Getting yourself vaccinated helps to protect your infant and other infants you're around.
Whooping cough remains a serious health problem among children in other parts of the world.


Melissa Summers said...

Thank you for sharing that. I was just talking to a friend of mine about immunizations and how important they are and why I can't understand why people are not immunizing their children. It puts the rest of us in harms way.

Damaris said...

I found you via Natalie's blog. Your children are so beautiful and your photography is breath taking.

Jennifer said...

Wow! SO sad. :( They gave me the vaccine in the hospital the day after I had Ethan.

Thanks for sharing. I'm going to go snuggle Ethan for a bit!

Amelia said...

We are going through a whooping cough epidemic in South Australia at the moment. So sad in this day and age that babies still die and get brain damage from vaccine preventable diseases. I am currently vaccinating all health care workers at my hospital who look after children, particularly babies, but so many parents, grandparents and others do not realise the importance of this vaccination for children and adults. Thanks for helping raise awareness.
XO Amelia