Fewer newborns get whooping cough when moms get vaccinated
Vaccinating mothers against whooping cough during pregnancy may prevent 9 out of 10 severe cases of this potentially fatal respiratory infection in their babies, a U.S. study suggests.
The bacterium Bordetella pertussis causes whooping cough, which gets its nickname from the sounds patients make as they gasp for air during intense coughing fits. Pertussis is highly contagious and easily spread when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. About half of babies under age 1 who catch pertussis require hospitalization for serious complications like pneumonia or brain disorders.