What a baby with whooping cough sounds like.
December 26, 2019
Whooping cough comes in waves about every four to six years. We always have a lot around in the community but currently we’ve got a very large amount in the community so everybody in New Zealand is at risk of catching whooping cough at the moment. Whooping cough is a serious disease no matter what age you catch it. In the adult, you don’t want to be coughing
for a hundred days; it’s very unpleasant. For a newborn baby or a very young child
it’s catastrophic. [Young baby coughing and mother comforting baby] They struggle for breath. They’ve got very little resilience about how they will keep on breathing and to see a struggling child with whooping cough is one sight I never want to see. In New Zealand if you end up in hospital as an infant
with whooping cough you’ve got a one in ten chance of ending up in the baby intensive care unit and of those in the intensive care unit
you have a one in six chance of ending up with severe lung damage, brain damage or death. This is a very severe illness.
[Suctioning baby with whooping cough in intensive care unit] Whooping cough is actually a very common
disease across the whole community. We recognise it in the infants because
it’s so severe. It often goes unrecognized in adults. In fact probably twenty maybe thirty percent of adults who have a cough lasting more than two weeks may
well have whooping cough. So there’s a lot of whooping cough out there – in adult people, in the elderly, in many groups in our population that’s currently not being recognized and they’re at risk of spreading their disease to others. The only way, the absolute only way we’re going to get the protection that we need for these
young bubbies is by immunising. We need to immunise these young bubbies as soon as we can. We’re going to use the standard immunisation schedule vaccinations at six weeks, three months and five months. That’s important to do those base ones
but it’s also going to be important to immunise those people in
and around that newborn child until they’ve completed those three immunisations. For those of us who are in close contact with
young infants we can also be vaccinated against whooping cough. So think about parents, grandparents,
anyone in close contact with young infants up to about a year of age. Pregnant women also can be vaccinated
after twenty weeks of pregnancy. What we really are after is to reduce down the risk of that mum bringing whooping cough into the comm … into her household that might infect her unimmunised or partially immunised child. [Baby in intensive care] Her lips are going purple [Baby in intensive care coughing and struggling for breath. Monitor beeping] Whooping cough is a tricky disease – you
don’t get protection for life from either having the disease or having the
vaccine so sadly even if you’ve been vaccinated way in the past, you can’t guarantee protection, you still need to think vaccination.