| Posted by My Super Nanny
Whooping cough (pertussis) is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis).
It's characterized by severe coughing spells, which can sometimes end in a "whooping" sound when the person breathes in.
It mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before they're adequately protected by immunizations and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to fade.
Signs & Symptoms
The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold:
- runny nose
- mild cough
- low-grade fever
Recently Greg and Catherine Hughes lost their four week old son Riley John Hughes in March, due to whooping cough. It is the first fatal case of the illness in Western Australia since 2011.
Riley was too young to be vaccinated which usually happens at two, four and six months of age with booster doses throughout childhood.
Pregnant women can get the whooping cough vaccination from the 28th week of their pregnancy and protect their babies against whooping cough from birth.
There are currently up to 39,000 children under seven in Australia who have not been vaccinated with the number of parents opting for the “conscientious objection” exemption doubling over the past decade.
Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children can lose up to $15,000 in government benefits under a new government policy, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced. As of January 1, 2016 families who object will no longer be paid the $200 a week childcare benefit, the $7500 a year childcare rebate or the $726 Family Tax Benefit Part A annual supplement. Only those families who had strict religious beliefs or children with medical conditions would be exempt from the crackdown.
It is recommended that adults planning a pregnancy and others who are regularly around young children talk to their GP about receiving an adult booster dose of the vaccine.
We hope this “no jab-no pay” campaign helps you raise awareness of the potential seriousness of the infections. We encourage you to seek advice from you GP or midwife about getting vaccinated.
A facebook page has been set up after Rileys death - Light for Riley To support them and help in any way please like the page on facebook.
Please read more and watch some videos on the issue at 9news.com.au