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Actress and New Mom Keri Russell Joins PKIDs to launch 'Silence the Sounds of Pertussis' Campaign
Date:10/16/2007

Keri Russell Shares Personal Experience about Protecting Kids from a Deadly

but Vaccine-Preventable Disease

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDs) today announced the launch of its national educational campaign "Silence the Sounds of Pertussis" with actress and new mom Keri Russell.

The campaign sounds the alarm about the dangers of pertussis and alerts parents to the need for everyone coming into close contact with young babies, especially family members, to be vaccinated against pertussis to prevent transmission of the disease. On the rise, pertussis is a highly contagious and potentially deadly bacterial infection that is particularly dangerous for babies.

Commonly known as whooping cough, pertussis is marked by the "whoop" sound made when gasping for breath after a severe coughing attack. Coughing can last for weeks and can be so severe that it is hard for babies to eat, drink or breathe. In recent years, more than half of babies infected with pertussis were hospitalized, and 90% of pertussis-associated deaths have been among babies less than six month old.

"It is so important for parents to know that they can help to protect their babies against pertussis by getting vaccinated themselves," said Trish Parnell, director of PKIDs. "Research shows that half of the babies infected with pertussis were exposed by their parents, while 90% of unvaccinated children living with someone who has the disease can become infected."

"Like any parent, I would do anything to protect my baby, and that is why I followed my pediatrician's recommendation to get the pertussis vaccine myself," said Keri Russell, award-winning television actress and new mom. "I am very excited to be working with PKIDs to spread the word and help other parents learn how to best protect their babies from this deadly but preventable disease."

Russell gives voice to the "Silence the Sound
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SOURCE Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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1. New Study Confirms Role for Pertussis Immunization of Entire Family in Reducing Infant Pertussis
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