Pertussis, also known as Whooping cough, is a very serious respiratory infection which is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria.
Whooping cough usually starts with the runny nose, mild cough, and difficulty in breathing. Children and adults who suffer from this disease may then begin to develop these more serious problems like coughing very hard, over and over that makes a “whooping” sound. Babies may not cough or make this sound—they may gag, gasp, or stop breathing. They face difficulty breathing, eating, drinking, or sleeping, turning blue from lack of oxygen. Coughing fits can last for up to 10 weeks or more, and sometimes happen again the next time the individual has a respiratory illness.
Whooping cough is most dangerous for babies and young children. In fact, babies younger than 1 year old who have whooping cough may need hospitalization, may develop severe pneumonia, may develop seizures, may suffer from brain damage. Whooping cough can even be deadly. About 7 in 10 deaths from whooping cough are among babies younger than 2 months old.
Pertussis helps protect from whooping cough, a potentially serious and even deadly disease. Pertussis Vaccine is recommended for children, pregnant women and even seniors. Pertussis Vaccine during pregnancy helps protect you and your new-born against whooping cough till the time baby becomes eligible for the shot.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) & Indian Medical Association (IMA) strongly recommend children & adults receive all vaccines according to the recommended Vaccination schedule.