Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a potentially serious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory system. It is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, close contact with others, or direct contact with items contaminated with infected respiratory secretions.
Pertussis can cause complications such as pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or death. Young infants who have not been immunized against pertussis are more at risk of complications.
Symptoms begin with sneezing, runny nose, mild fever and mild cough. Symptoms become more severe over the next few weeks with a worsening cough leading to severe and forceful coughing spells that is often followed by vomiting.
How can I prevent Pertussis?
Several vaccines are available to protect against pertussis. The pertussis vaccine is only available in combination with tetanus and diphtheria and can also include polio.
Who should receive the Pertussis vaccine?
The pertussis vaccine is provided free to infants and children as part of the routine vaccination schedule. A booster dose of the pertussis vaccine is provided free to students in grade 9.
The pertussis vaccine is also recommended but not provided free to:
- Pregnant women ideally between 27-32 weeks pregnancy
- Adults who have not received a reinforcing dose of the pertussis vaccine in adulthood.
Pertussis vaccine schedule:
The adult booster dose of pertussis is given as a single dose. There is no recommendation for a subsequent booster.
Call us at 604-251-1975 to arrange an appointment or to receive further information about the Pertussis vaccine.
Visit our Kitsilano clinic for a pre-travel consultation and vaccinations to protect your health.
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