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A whooping cough outbreak may be imminent one Australian state.

According to the ABC, Western Australian health authorities have warned of the outbreak and urged pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Dr Paul Effler from the Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Directorate spoke to the ABC regarding the potential outbreak:

“What we want to do is get to the pregnant women, so they get vaccinated and they pass that protection to the baby in their body and when the child is born then they’re protected when they are most vulnerable,” he said.  “We’re not saying the sky is falling.  We’re seeing increased whooping cough activity and we want to make sure parents are aware of it, so they can make sure their kids are protected and so that pregnant women get vaccinated to protect that baby when they’re most vulnerable.”

The WA Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has released the statistical rate of weekly whooping cough notifications, showing that there has been a steady increase in the disease over 2015, which the department has linked to a clear indicator of another outbreak being due soon.

The bacterial infection, which is passed on by sneezing and coughing, is always present in Western Australia but outbreaks occur in roughly three to five-year cycles.

ABC news reports that the CDC has issued a warning that newborns will be particularly at risk, with more than 80 per cent of deaths from the disease occurring in children less than three months of age.

Pregnant women are being urged to get vaccinated in their third trimester, so antibodies can be transferred to the baby in utero to protect it in the first few months after birth.

Babies cannot be vaccinated in the first few months.

According to the WA Department of Health, UK studies showed vaccinating women in the third trimester of pregnancy can prevent more than 90 per cent of infections among infants in the first few months of life.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

  • When isn’t there a virus going around! Good thing we’re protected

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  • Just make sure you get the inoculation before you give birth! They issue it free at 37 weeks gestation, but if you don’t progress that far, you need to pay for it! Ridiculous!

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  • The vaccination is free, you would be mad not to get it. Give our precious little ones a fighting chance!

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  • I got my vaccine done when I was pregnant, now I have a little 3 week old baby boy :)

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  • We are lucky to live in an age where we have the option of protecting ourselves as much as possible from these terrible diseases. If you’ve ever seen a baby struggling to breathe from whooping cough it is a no brainer decision to vaccinate. And it’s not just babies – everyone can suffer from whooping cough. You need to have boosters throughout your lifetime to address this disease.

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  • Please, please do this if you are a pregnant mum! I remember watching and hearing a baby suffering from whooping cough, and it is truly agonising.

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  • yes that is great that they are able to get in their so much earlier! hopefully this does work and give babies a better chance to fight or prevent it!

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  • I really hope that all pregnant women out there will get the vaccination.

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  • i’ve done it with pleasure!

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  • oh no – i hope lots of newborns stay safe and that there are no casualty :(

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  • I agree completely thanks fir this article

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  • How can anyone risk not being vaccinated these days?! It should be made compulsory for pregnant mothers.

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  • Please Vaccinate! This shouldn’t be happening as frequently as it is today

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  • Highlights the importance of vaccinations.

    Reply

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