Another whooping cough outbreak in NSW leaves doctor’s at a loss on how to bring the message home.
Young and elderly residents alike have been hit by a recent whooping cough outbreak in the NSW area of Shoalhaven. Those parents refusing to vaccinate their childen are to blame according to a Nowra GP, reports South Coast register.
Doctor Richard Griffiths has treated numerous patients for the ‘100-day cough’ in recent weeks, and most of them hadn’t been immunised.
“We are seeing a lot more of it,” he said. “You get one child with it, and it spreads. “It seems to come in waves, and there is a bit of an outbreak in the Shoalhaven at the moment.”
“We still see parents in the Shoalhaven who are proud of not immusing their kids,” he said.
“There are 130 medical papers disputing shaky evidence that linked immunisation to autism.”
The vaccine can wear off over time, and it doesn’t always prevent whooping cough, but Dr Griffiths has urged residents to vaccinate their young ones.
“We’ve had people in their 70s come in with a chronic cough and after a swap test realise it’s whooping cough,” he said.
“It’s far more dangerous in young babies.”
The vaccine is free for babies, and booster doses are free for infants, children and pregnant women.
Under the National Immunisation Program Schedule, doses of vaccine are given at two, four and six months of age, with booster doses at 18 months, four years and 10-15 years.
The below video highlights just how horrible it is for young infants who are too young for the vaccination.
This video was published in NZ by Waikato DHB and is an example of a baby’s struggle with whooping cough. While this clip had me in tears it is something that really needs to be shared.
The video has had over 1.1 million views.
*Warning some readers may find this video distressing.*
Symptoms such as a runny nose, a slight fever and a uncontrollable cough should not be ignored.
What are the symptoms? via NSW Health
•Whooping cough usually begins like a cold with a blocked or runny nose, tiredness, mild fever and a cough.
•The cough gets worse and severe bouts of uncontrollable coughing can develop. Coughing bouts can be followed by vomiting, choking or taking a big gasping breath which causes a “whooping” sound. The cough can last for many weeks and can be worse at night.
•Some newborns may not cough at all but they can stop breathing and turn blue. Some babies have difficulties feeding and can choke or gag.
•Older children and adults may just have a cough that lasts for many weeks. They may not have the whoop.
Whooping cough vaccines provide good protection from infection but immunity fades which means that boosters are needed.
Immunisation for babies
•Babies need to be immunised at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 18 months. The first dose can be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
•Getting your baby vaccinated on time gives them some protection when they are most at risk of severe illness.
•If your baby’s vaccines are overdue, see your GP now to catch up.
Immunisation for older children
•A whooping cough booster is needed at 4 years of age.
•Check if your child has been vaccinated. Look at their Blue Book, speak to your GP or ring the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809.
•A second whooping cough booster is given in high school through the NSW School-based Vaccination Program.
Immunisation for adults
A booster for adults is recommended for:
•Women who are in the third trimester of pregnancy, preferably at 28 weeks gestation. Free vaccine is provided in NSW through GPs and hospital antenatal clinics.
•Other adult household members, grandparents and carers of infants under 12 months of age.
•Adults working with young children, especially health care and child care workers.
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