Pertussis is a bacterial infection. The symptoms are a dry, irritating cough that becomes more frequent and severe sometimes ending with vomiting or shortness of breath. A characteristic "whoop" at the end of the cough may occur in the later stages of the disease. Early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics is important.
We are recommending that parents and caregivers of infants under six months of age be immunized with the adult pertussis booster to prevent infection passing to the child; this forms a ‘cocoon' or barrier of immunity protecting the child, This is especially important for infants three months and under.
Pertussis containing vaccines are given at two, four and six months with a booster at 18 months, four years and 14 years. In communities experiencing an outbreak children may be immunized as early as six, 10 and 14 weeks which is safe and effective.
Immunization is important for protection of children.