It’s that time of year when more and more people are coming down with upper respiratory infections. Whooping Cough or Pertussis has made a resurgence in our society due to waning protection from the Pertussis vaccine that we had as kids. Pertussis poses a danger to infants not immunized.
Pertussis is caused from the bacteria, Bordetella Pertussis. The bacteria attaches to the small hairs (cilia) in the respiratory tract and the toxins released by them cause the cilia to swell. Symptoms start off as a runny nose, low grade fever and mild cough. Infants who acquire the infection may not have any cough but can exhibit apneic pauses or periods of not breathing. Early symptoms of Pertussis in the first 1-2 weeks appear as a common cold. Later in the course of the infection, the cough can be a rapid pattern and come in fits with a high-pitched “whoop-like” sound pattern. This harsh paroxysmal cough can cause vomiting and fatigue. The cough can continue for 10 weeks and is sometimes called the “100 day cough.” Some complications in adults can include bladder loss, fractured ribs, and even passing out due to the intensity of the cough.
The infection of Pertussis can be very serious in infants and immunocompromised individuals. They often require hospitalization. About 1/100 infants with Pertussis can die. Thus, it is important to get a booster dose of the Pertussis vaccine if you are pregnant and for all parents, siblings, grandparents, family members, babysitters, etc. who may be around infants at least 2 weeks before close contact with the baby.
At Modern Family Medicine, we offer boosters of Tdap, a Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis vaccine for adults and routine immunizations for infants and children. We can provide alternative scheduling for vaccines and work with individuals and families to make sure they are adequately protected from dangerous diseases such as Pertussis.
Call 602-363-1631 to schedule your appointment or go to www.modernfamilymedicine.com to book an appointment through our patient portal. We are located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale at 7522 E. 1st Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.