Experts remind parents to vaccinate against Whooping Cough - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Experts remind parents to vaccinate against Whooping Cough

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Southwest Public Health District officials in Albany want to remind parents to get their children vaccinated against Whooping Cough.

Some parents have decided not to vaccinate their children against the potentially deadly disease.

The bacterial infection can cause serious health issues and even deaths in young children. Health officials say the vaccine is the first step to keep your child safe from this easily spread infection.

Nationally, the CDC has seen an increase in whooping cough cases in infants and young children. But the serious respiratory infection caused by bacteria can be prevented before a baby is born.

"We really would like to get pregnant moms vaccinated in their last trimester of pregnancy and that will give the baby passive immunity," said District Deputy Health Director Brenda Greene. "Some immunity from Pertussis (Whooping Cough) until they're old enough to get vaccinated."

District Health officials say parents and caregivers who will be around young children, should also get the vaccine because they can also get the illness. They say some people have some fears and concerns about the vaccine.

"There's some belief that the rise is related to people who decided not to get the vaccination and the decisions are not based on any medical reason. They just decide not to get vaccinated," explained Greene.

Brain swelling and seizures are some of the complications of Pertussis. A child's health can continue to get worse if left untreated.    

"Within five days to a week, this cough may progress and become much more serious especially in infants and young children. The cough can be severe to the point they can't get their breathe and they may turn blue and vomit," said Greene

She says Asthma and bronchitis can mimic Pertussis. That's why its important to pay attention to your child's condition.

"Were encouraging anytime parents have babies that have a coughing illness, they see their health care provider," said Greene.

Public Health officials say getting the vaccine for infants in a timely manner, can help keep the number of infections down.

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