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Commentary Author: March of Dimes Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Statement From The March of Dimes On 50-year High of Pertussis Cases In U.S.

By March of Dimes
Jul 25, 2012 - 11:35:20 AM

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(HealthNewsDigest.com0 - WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 25, 2012 -- The March of Dimes issued the following statement today: "Pertussis (whooping cough) cases could reach its highest level in the United States in more than 50 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The March of Dimes, which works for stronger, healthier babies, is very concerned about this epidemic because whooping cough, a vaccine-preventable disease, is extremely dangerous to newborns who are not yet immunized. It can cause serious illness and death in these unprotected infants. According to the recent U.S. data, 92 percent of deaths due to pertussis were in children under 12 years of age. Studies have shown that when it could be determined how an infant got pertussis, family members and more specifically parents were the source of their infections in up to 80 percent of cases. The March of Dimes strongly supports last week's recommendation by the CDC that adults -- especially pregnant women -- get an adult Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) booster to keep from contracting and spreading pertussis to the babies with whom they are in contact.

If you are planning to get pregnant, ask your health care provider about getting an adult Tdap vaccine. If you did not get a Tdap vaccine before or during pregnancy, you can get it right after you give birth. It is the best way to prevent getting pertussis and passing it on to your baby. Until your baby gets his full set of pertussis shots, the best way to protect him or her is for you and the other adults in your household to get the booster and to avoid contact with people who may have an acute illness."

Sounds of Pertussis(®), a joint initiative from Sanofi Pasteur and the March of Dimes, is a national education campaign to raise awareness about the potential dangers of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, and the importance of adult Tdap immunization. Started in 2009, the Campaign continues to raise awareness about pertussis and helps to educate parents, grandparents, caregivers and others in close contact with infants about the importance of getting vaccinated with an adult and adolescent tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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