Pertussis Whooping Cough
Great strides have been made to reduce the number of children with Pertussis, also called whooping cough with the use of vaccines. The illness often resembles a simple cold, so people may spread it before they know they are ill. It can be fatal for young children or may cause pneumonia, convulsions, and brain damage, according to the CDC. Early symptoms include: runny nose, cough, fever, and apnea. In some cases, it can last up to 10 weeks. In advanced cases, people cough so much they may vomit, feel exhausted, or turn blue from lack of oxygen.
The Pertussis vaccine is administered as part of the newborn series of shots at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 4 to 6 years as part of the DTaP vaccination combination. A booster is given at age 11. Pregnant women receive a booster during pregnancy.