Doctors urging pertussis vaccine for all pregnant women - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Doctors urging pertussis vaccine for all pregnant women

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     Whooping cough is spreading across the country.

     As of today, the Department of Health in California is declaring the disease an epidemic.

     Your child could be at risk but one of the best ways to protect them is by protecting yourself first.

      Pertussis or whooping cough is a highly contagious disease. It leaves little ones wheezing and struggling to breathe.

    "Respiratory problems, breathing, choking, they might need to be in the hospital and can die from this," says Jayne Roth, a certified nurse with midwives of Toledo.

         The disease typically targets infants but turns out anyone can be a carrier. This year, the disease is sweeping the country.

         The CDC says pertussis cases jumped 24% in the past 12 months.

    "I think it's a decrease in immunizations, from whatever reasons and now it seems more people are adpt to get them," says Roth.

         Area hospitals are encouraging mothers and other family members to protect themselves before going home with a new baby.

    "The vaccine is given ideally during pregnancy 27- 36 weeks and that protects baby during the first few months," says Dr. Kristel Ward, with Promedica Physicians.

      Its called TDAP, a vaccine for teenagers and adults that protects you from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

     13ABC's Shaun Hegarty's wife Sara got the vaccine a few days ago. Sara just gave birth to her third child, Nicholas, and didn't want to take any chances.

     "It's scary, when they are this little you want to protect them as much as possible," says Hegarty.

    Doctors say parents are typically the ones spreading whooping cough to babies.

     With the number of cases skyrocketing, Promedica Physicians say it's best to make sure everyone around your new bundle of joy is protected.
   
   
   

   
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