Is my child at risk from whooping cough?

Many parents, from Payson to Saratoga Springs, have questions about whooping cough. Utah County’s current Pertussis levels are in the news and parents are understandably concerned.

The good news is, if your child has been vaccinated for Tetanus, he or she has also been vaccinated for whooping cough (Pertussis). While this doesn’t mean vaccinated kids are guaranteed not to contract the Pertussis infection, it does mean their bodies will be better able to fight off.

The US enjoys a high rate of people who vaccinate, which helps herd immunity. Unfortunately, a recent study flagged Provo, Utah one of several hot spots for high rates of outbreaks of otherwise preventable diseases. Simply put, not enough people are vaccinating and that hurts the population as a whole.

If your child is too young for the Pertussis vaccine or cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons, make sure everyone your child interacts with is vaccinated. This begins with you, your partner, and any other caregivers, but don’t forget older siblings and grandparents. Surrounding the vulnerable with only vaccinated people is essential for their protection.

Please call us if you have any questions, and call immediately (we’re here 24/7) if your child has:

  • Respiratory symptoms that last for more than 2 weeks and do not respond to over-the-counter medicines recommended for their age.
  • Trouble breathing: can’t catch her breath between coughing fits, has a croupy, barking cough, uses extra muscles to breath (ribs stick out, or belly sucks in with breathing), looks very uncomfortable when breathing. This YouTube video contains an example of a croupy cough.
  • Stridor (loud breathing sounds when taking breaths in), or wheezing (noisy breathing when exhaling). This YouTube video contains an example of Stridor.
  • Been exposed to a confirmed case of whooping cough.
  • A fever, has green/yellow sputum with a cough, or has other symptoms such as vomiting, turning red or blue, ear pain, etc.

Utah Valley Pediatrics wants you to call us first, anytime, any day. We’re here day and night for your After Hours questions and care needs.

Call Us First: 801-922-5200

Reviewed on September 6, 2018 by: Joseph Hershkop, M.D.
Joseph Hershkop, M.D.
Board-certified Pediatrician

Dr. Hershkop is a former New Yorker who really enjoys working with children from birth to age three, and is passionate about asthma, ADHD care, and dermatology. Languages: English, Hebrew

Saratoga Springs Office
Full Bio

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