Pertussis: A-to-Z Guide from Diagnosis to Treatment to Prevention

Related concepts: Whooping cough, Bordatella pertussis Introduction to pertussis: I stood outside the closed door of the hospital room where an adorable 6-week-old baby lay all alone in her crib. As I scrubbed my hands in the sink outside the isolation room, an electronic monitor allowed me to hear her breathing peacefully. Suddenly the quiet […]

Pertussis Vaccination

Dr. Greene, I was wondering if you could be so kind to answer my question regarding whooping cough. I am a mother of 5-year-old twins. The twins were born 2 months premature. At a few months old they had their first DPT shot. They both experienced side effects when administered. Both of them cried & screamed for several hours, had a rash where the shot was given & had high fevers of around 104. I called the Doctor to tell her what was going on. She told me that they were reacting to the “P” part of the DPT shot. Since then they have not been given the “P” part of the DPT immunization. I am very concerned about my kids. Currently there is an epidemic in California where young children have died from this disease. Please tell me whatever you can about pertussis. Being that my children are now 5 years old in your opinion can my children pickup the “P” part of DPT now? What are the actual side effects of this immunization? Your response is greatly appreciated.
Maureen Palumbo

Fast Facts about Pertussis

Pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough. Pertussis is caused by bacteria that attach themselves to the cilia (little hairs) that line the respiratory tract. These bacteria produce a potent toxin that inflames the respiratory tract and that prevents the cilia from functioning properly.

Pertussis Exposure

Do I need to worry about my older kids getting pertussis if they were vaccinated as babies?

Recommended Immunization Schedule

I am a missionary living in the Dominican Republic. Yesterday our eight-month old son received a vaccination for sarampion, which is the Spanish term for measles. My baby book says that it is better not to vaccinate for measles until after a child is 12 months old because the vaccination usually doesn’t make a child immune to the disease until after the child is a year old. Measles is quite a problem here among children and for that reason my son’s doctor requires the vaccination at eight months. The doctor, a Dominican, was trained in the States. I am curious to know, however, if you feel that it was wise for our son to have received the vaccination at the age of eight months rather than waiting until after he turns a year old and the vaccination is more effective.
Beth Veenstra – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Children’s Immunization Schedule

Guidelines have been set for many health issues. Experts are able to devote a considerable amount of time to a particular question (far more than an individual physician could ever hope to achieve), thus the benefit of many experts’ in-depth knowledge on many different questions is now available to individual families and physicians. A subcommittee […]