Forsyth County infant dies from whooping cough

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- A Forsyth County infant has died as a result of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

DHHS officials on Monday said the 2-month-old infant's passing is the first pertussis-related death in North Carolina in 2012.

State health officials are urging parents to do the following as cases of whooping cough spread across the country:

  1. Make sure your child is current on his or her vaccinations. The DTaP vaccination series is recommended for children starting at 2 months of age, and continuing at 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months and 4-6 years of age.
  2. Insist that the adults in your children’s lives are vaccinated also. Whooping cough spreads easily from person to person, and young babies especially are not fully protected until they receive the full series of shots.
  3. Ask about your children’s caregivers. Babysitters, child care providers, family members, etc. who come in close contact with your children should be vaccinated.
  4. Don’t forget booster shots. By age 11, children should receive the Tdap booster. It’s never too late for teenagers or adults to receive the booster if they haven’t already.

“Babies and young children are not fully immunized until they have finished a series of vaccinations, so their only protection against whooping cough is the people around them,” N.C. Health Director Dr. Laura Gerald said. “Anyone who lives with or will be around a baby should be vaccinated.”

For more information about getting vaccinations, visit immunize.nc.gov.

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