How Is Whooping Cough Diagnosed
If you think you or your child may have whooping cough, get an assessment by your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Make sure you tell the receptionist about the cough when you phone to book an appointment as you will need to be kept separate from other people in the surgery. Older children and adults will need to wear a mask. Your doctor may be able to diagnose whooping cough after asking questions about your symptoms and doing an examination. They may take a nose and throat swab and send it to the laboratory to check for pertussis bacteria and/or test for COVID-19. A whooping cough swab will only show up positive in the early stages of the disease. Your doctor may sometimes ask for a blood test.
The Whooping Cough Vaccine For Children Is Very Safe For Your Baby
DTaP is the name of the whooping cough vaccine for children . The DTaP vaccine combines protection against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. Currently, there are 3 licensed formulations of the DTaP vaccine. Researchers conducted many different clinical trials on each vaccine to make sure of its safety. Results from clinical trials showed that these vaccines are very safe for infants and children. Doctors can safely give the DTaP vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.
Transporting Storing And Handling Vaccines
Transport according to National Vaccine Storage Guidelines: Strive for 5.85 Store at +2°C to +8°C. Do not freeze. Protect from light.
Infanrix hexa vaccine must be reconstituted. Add the entire contents of the syringe to the vial and shake until the pellet completely dissolves. Use the reconstituted vaccine as soon as practicable. If it must be stored, hold at room temperature for no more than 8 hours.
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What Does Adt Booster Cover
Following intramuscular injection, ADT Booster stimulates the immune system with the effect that antibodies are formed that protect against the diseases caused by exposure to Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Clostridium tetani. Protection against diphtheria and tetanus can be expected to last for up to 10 years.
What Types Of Diphtheria Tetanus And Whooping Cough Vaccines Are There
A combination vaccine contains 2 or more vaccines in a single shot in order to decrease the number of shots given.
The Food and Drug Administration licensed 12 combination vaccines for use in the United States to help protect against diphtheria and tetanus. Nine of these vaccines also help protect against whooping cough. Some of the vaccines include protection against other diseases as well, including polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b disease, and hepatitis B.
- DT and Td provide protection against diphtheria and tetanus.
- DTaP provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.
- Tdap provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough.
Upper-case letters in these abbreviations mean the vaccine has full-strength doses of that part of the vaccine. The lower-case d and p in Td and Tdap means these vaccines use smaller doses of diphtheria and whooping cough. The a in DTaP and Tdap stands for acellular, meaning that the whooping cough component contains only parts of the bacteria instead of the whole bacteria.
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You May Experience Side Effects From The Tdap Vaccine
Most side effects are mild, meaning they do not affect daily activities. They also get better on their own in a few days. The most common side effects from the Tdap vaccine include
- Redness, swelling, pain, and tenderness where you got the shot
In adults who have received 2 doses of the Tdap vaccine, the most commonly reported side effect was pain where they got the shot.
Severe side effects are extremely rare, especially in adults.
What Are The Symptoms Of Whooping Cough
Whooping cough usually starts with the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- A pause in breathing in babies
Children and babies may then begin to develop these more serious problems:
- Coughing very hard, over and over. These coughing fits happen more at night.
- Gasping for breath after a coughing fit. They may make a whooping sound. This sound is where the name whooping cough comes from. Babies may not cough or make this soundthey may gag, gasp, or stop breathing.
- Difficulty breathing, eating, drinking, or sleeping.
- Turning blue from lack of oxygen.
- Vomiting after coughing fits.
Coughing fits can last for up to 10 weeks or more, and sometimes happen again the next time the child has a respiratory illness.
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Why Are Whooping Cough Vaccines Important
Whooping cough spreads very easily from person to person. Because it usually starts off like a cold, people who have whooping cough may not know theyre spreading it. And it can be deadly, especially for newborn babies.
Babies who get whooping cough can have dangerous complications, like pneumonia , convulsions , and brain damage. Thats why its especially important for pregnant women to get vaccinated and that people who spend time with babies are up to date on their whooping cough vaccine.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent whooping cough.
Whooping cough is caused by a kind of bacteria. Its named for the whoop sound people can make after coughing fits. Learn what whooping cough sounds like.
The early symptoms of whooping cough include:
- Runny nose
Preteens and teens ages 7 through 18
Older children need 1 booster shot of the Tdap vaccine at age 11 or 12 as part of their routine vaccine schedule.
If your child misses the booster shot, talk with your childs doctor about scheduling a catch-up shot.
Adults age 19 and older
If you missed the Tdap booster as a teen, youll need to get a Tdap booster to make sure you have protection from whooping cough.
Pregnant women need 1 booster shot of the Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy.
Talk with your doctor about how to protect your family from whooping cough.
You should not get a whooping cough vaccine if you:
Be sure to tell your doctor before getting vaccinated if you:
Vaccinations For Whooping Cough
There are three routine vaccinations that can protect babies and children from whooping cough:
- the whooping cough vaccine in pregnancy this can protect your baby during the first few weeks of life the best time to have it is soon after the 16th week of your pregnancy
- the 6-in-1 vaccine offered to babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age
- the 4-in-1 pre-school booster offered to children by 3 years and 4 months
These vaccines don’t offer lifelong protection from whooping cough, but they can help stop children getting it when they’re young and more vulnerable to the effects of the infection.
Older children and adults aren’t routinely vaccinated, except during pregnancy or a whooping cough outbreak.
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How Often Do You Need To Get A Whooping Cough Vaccine
Children ages 7 through 10 who aren’t fully vaccinated, or have never been vaccinated, should get a single dose of the Tdap vaccine. Teens ages 13 through 18 should also get a single dose of Tdap if they have never been vaccinated, followed by a booster every 10 years. Ask your doctor to check your vaccine records to see if you or a family member need a booster shot.
Symptoms Of Whooping Cough
Whooping cough begins with symptoms similar to those of a cold. These can rapidly progress to include:
- severe cough occurs in bouts
- characteristic ‘whooping’ sound on inhalation
- vomiting at the end of a bout of coughing
- apnoea the child stops breathing for periods of time and may go blue.
A person with these symptoms may also have poor appetite, fatigue and dehydration. The person may appear normal between bouts of coughing. During the recovery, the cough gradually decreases, but can last up to three months.
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What Is Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis . This bacteria damages the lining of your nose, throat and breathing tubes and causes the coughing. The cough can go on for weeks or months. Whoop describes the sound that some children make after coughing.
Whooping cough can be very serious in babies, young children and older adults. Older children are usually less unwell but the cough and vomiting can be distressing. Adults may just have an irritating cough that goes on much longer than usual.
Having The Covid Vaccine During Pregnancy
The Covid-19 vaccine is recommended in pregnancy in the UK. Severalstudieshave shown that severe Covid illness is more likely for women who are pregnant than those who arent, especially for those in the third trimester.
There is more real-world safety data from the US in pregnant women for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, so the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advises that those vaccines be offered in pregnancy.
The RCOG says that second doses of the Covid vaccine are given eight weeks after the first dose, and that it recommends receiving two doses before giving birth or entering the third trimester.
The information included in this article contains the latest evidence and official guidance available at the time it was written. This is not a substitute for medical advice. If you require specific medical advice please consult your GP or midwife.
We updated this article to reflect changes in official guidance, from having a seven day gap between Covid-19 vaccines and other vaccines, to there being no need for a gap.
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Older Babies And Young Children
In older babies and young children, the illness has 3 stages:
The early stage
It starts with a runny nose and eyes, mild fever and sneezing just like a cold. This lasts 1 or 2 weeks.
The second stage
Next, there is an irritating cough. Over a week or two, the cough gets worse and your child will have bouts of coughing. They gasp for air between each bout of coughing. They get very red in the face. These spells last many minutes and they may vomit food or spit after the coughing. The cough often gets worse with swallowing or eating. It is very distressing for both parent and child.
The final stage
The final stage is the long recovery stage. The symptoms gradually get milder, but the cough continues for weeks.
What Are The Side Effects
Most children dont have any side effects from DTaP or Tdap. The side effects that do occur are usually mild, and may include:
- Redness, swelling, or pain where the shot was given
More serious side effects are very rare but with DTaP can include:
- A fever over 105 degrees
- Nonstop crying for 3 hours or more
Some preteens and teens might faint after getting Tdap or any other shot.
To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, adolescents should be seated or lying down during vaccination and remain in that position for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
- Whooping cough is a very serious respiratory infection.
- It is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria.
- It can cause violent coughing fits.
- Whooping cough is most harmful for young babies and can be deadly.
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There Is No Medicine That Will Stop The Cough Once It Has Started
Your immune system will get rid of the bacteria after 3 or 4 weeks without any treatment but the damage caused to your breathing tubes takes longer to repair. There is no medicine that will stop the cough once it has started. Cough medicine will not ease the coughing and is not recommended in young children.
The following may provide some relief:
- sipping warm drinks
- reducing dry air, by using a humidifier in the bedroom
- using saline nose drops to help remove thick mucus
- drinking lots of clear fluids
- avoiding coughing triggers, such as cigarette smoke, perfumes or pollutants.
What Are The Risks Of Dtap And Tdap
The risks of DTaP, Tdap, and other common vaccines are low. The most common side effect is redness or soreness on the part of the body where you got the shot. You may feel out of sorts or have a low-grade fever.
Allergic reactions to vaccines can be serious, but they are rare. The risk to your health from getting tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis is higher than the risk of a reaction to the vaccines.
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Urgent Advice: See A Gp Urgently Or Call 111 If:
- your baby is under 6 months old and has symptoms of whooping cough
- you or your child have a very bad cough that is getting worse
- you’ve been in contact with someone with whooping cough and you’re pregnant
- you or your child has been in contact with someone with whooping cough and have a weakened immune system
Whooping cough can spread very easily. It’s best to call the GP before you go in. They might suggest talking over the phone.
Whooping Cough Extremely Contagious And How It Spreads
Pertussis is extremely contagious. If you think you have the infection, notify your doctor as soon as possible. The quicker you get treatment, the better the chance of preventing whooping cough’s progression and spread. One simple preventive measure includes hand washing and “covering your cough,” as recommended by the CDC. This simply means that if you are coughing and sneezing that you cough into your sleeve and not onto your hands. This is recommended as a way to prevent the flu, colds, and other respiratory illnesses. A face mask may help prevent a person with pertussis from spreading it to others.
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Getting A Tdap Vaccine During Pregnancy Passes Protection To Your Baby
After receiving a Tdap vaccine, your body creates protective antibodies and passes some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies provide your baby some short-term protection against whooping cough in early life. These antibodies can also protect your baby from some of the more serious complications, including hospitalization, that come along with getting whooping cough.
The recommended time to get the shot is during your 27ththrough 36th week of pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period.
Protective antibodies are at their highest about 2 weeks after getting the vaccine, but it takes time to pass them to your baby. So the preferred time to get a Tdap vaccine is early in your third trimester.
The amount of whooping cough antibodies in your body decreases over time. That is why CDC recommends you get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, even if your pregnancies are only a year or two apart. Doing so allows each of your babies to get the greatest number of protective antibodies and best protection possible.
What Are Risk Factors Of Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is easily spread through the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, laughs, or even talks near another. Sharing the same household with an infected person and not being vaccinated against whooping cough are the biggest risk factors for becoming infected, according to the American Lung Association.
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What Are Prevention Strategies For Whooping Cough Without The Vaccine
The whooping cough vaccine is safe and recommended for most adults. However, some people with certain medical conditions may not be able to get the vaccine.
If your doctor advises you not to get the vaccine, here are some steps you can take to lower your risk of contracting the infection:
- Practice good hand hygiene, by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Avoid close contact with people who show signs or symptoms of whooping cough.
- Encourage other members of your household to get the whooping cough vaccine.
If someone in your household has been diagnosed with whooping cough, let your doctor know. In some cases, they might encourage you to take preventive antibiotics. This may help lower your chances of contracting the infection.
People whove received the vaccine can also use these prevention strategies to further reduce their chances of getting whooping cough.
Treatment For Whooping Cough
In its early stages, the symptoms of whooping cough can be reduced by taking antibiotics. If treatment is given in the first 21 days of the illness, the risk of passing the infection to others might be reduced.
Members of the infected person’s household are at increased risk of getting the disease and are usually prescribed a strong antibiotic as a preventative measure, even if they are fully immunised.
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When To Call The Doctor
This is especially important if your child has long coughing spells and:
- the coughing make your child’s skin or lips turn red, purple, or blue
- your child vomits after coughing
- there’s a whooping sound after the cough
- your child has trouble breathing or seems to have brief periods of not breathing
- your child seems very sluggish
If your child has been diagnosed with whooping cough and is being treated at home, get immediate medical care if he or she develops difficulty breathing or shows signs of dehydration.
Risks Associated With The Vaccine
- In some overseas trials of acellular pertussis, between 0.7 and 2.6 recipients in 10,000 had fits or shock-collapse neither of which cause long-term problems. These reactions have not happened in overseas trials of the vaccine now being used in New Zealand.
- There is no association between the vaccine and sudden unexpected death in infancy .
- Anaphylaxis is very rare.
Immunisation is your choice. If you have questions, talk to your midwife, doctor or practice nurse or call the free helpline 0800 IMMUNE .
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Caring For Whooping Cough At Home
Mild cases of whooping cough can be treated at home. Stay at home and away from people who are not in your family/whnau bubble for 3 weeks. This is to stop the infection spreading. If you are taking antibiotics, this isolation time goes down to 5 days from the day the antibiotics were started.
Make sure you and your child get as much rest as you can. Caring for your child with whooping cough is hard work, and the cough is often worse at night. Encourage small healthy meals and plenty of fluids.
If the cough is painful you can use paracetamol for pain relief. Make sure you follow directions and measure children’s doses accurately. Never give more than the recommended dose. If unsure, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.