Whooping Cough and Babies
Some stories hit the news and never really leave our collective memories. There are many, but a couple of names will always make my heart clench whenever I read them. Those names are Dana McCaffrey and Riley Hughes. Both babies were only a few weeks old when they died, several years apart, as a result of contracting whooping cough (pertussis). If their names bring a tear to my eye, I can only imagine what it would be like to have carried them, birthed them, held them in my arms and loved them.
Babies under 6 months old are at the highest risk from whooping cough. They are too young to be fully vaccinated against it and make up the majority of pertussis-related hospital admissions. Approximately 1 in 200 babies who contract it will die due to brain damage or pneumonia associated with the disease.