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What can I do to prevent whooping cough?

Asked by a member via email:

I'm hearing a lot about whooping cough lately. How common is it, and what can I do to prevent my kids from getting it?
In Topics: Physical Health, Medical problems
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Dr.Monika
Sep 21, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

The best way to prevent the whooping cough, or pertussis, is to get immunized!  

One of the childhood immunizations that is started at age 2 months is pertussis (one of the ingredients of DTaP vaccine).  By age 4 years, children receive several doses of this vaccine to boost their immunity against pertussis.   Since the immunity wears off by adolescence, at age 11 years, children should receive Tdap, a tetanus booster containing perstusss.  

If you are concerned with your children's immunization status, check with their health care provider whether they are up-to-date.

Best regards.
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Additional Answers (1)

Wayne Yankus
Wayne Yankus writes:
Whooping cough or Pertussis is common and becoming more so in states like California where philosophical exemptions to immunization are allowed to exist.  It effects infant girls fatally more than boys but is easily preventable with immunization--the dtap or the Tdap depending on your age.  The Tdap is licensed to give to people up to age 62 in order to protect children from adults having the disease and is generally given after age 11 when the infant pertussis vaccine starts to wear off.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist:  Pediatrics
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> 60 days ago

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