HEALTH WATCH - Babies: Whooping Cough

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

Caring for an infant is a huge responsibility because babies are entirely dependent on adults for all their needs. This week on Health Watch, we’ll discuss some things parents need to know about caring for infants. The big health concern right now may be swine flu, but if you care for a baby, you should also think about whooping cough.

Although infants are immunized against whooping cough, it takes a while for them to become fully protected. The protection from childhood immunizations fades over time, so adults may be vulnerable to the disease. It’s not usually a serious illness for adults, who may just think they have a bad cough or a cold, but it can be deadly for infants. Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, an obstetrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says parents and caretakers of babies less than a year old should get a whooping cough booster shot so they don’t pass the illness on to their babies.

Visit  to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in obstetrics and gynecology.                       


November 2009

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