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Ingrid Vandebosch, Wife of NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon, Models Perfect Stance Against Pertussis Following Son's Birth
Date:8/19/2010

has not received a pertussis booster vaccination prior to becoming pregnant, that she get the immunization in the immediate postpartum period to protect herself from pertussis and reduce the risk of spreading the disease to her baby.(1)

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria.  It is highly contagious, spread through airborne droplets expelled from the nose and throat through a cough, sneeze or even by talking very close to another person.(2) In adults, symptoms are usually mild, and pertussis is often mistaken for the common cold or even bronchitis.(3) However, in some infants and adults, the disease can cause severe coughing characterized by the unforgettable "whoop" sound made when a person is gasping for breath after a coughing fit.(2) The disease is on the rise across the country. In June, California declared a pertussis epidemic, which has claimed the lives of seven infants. Between 2000 and 2009, the total number of pertussis cases reported to the CDC in the U.S. was approximately 150 percent higher than the total number of cases reported during the 1990s.(4,5)

Adult vaccination against infectious diseases like pertussis, which can easily be spread to babies, is just one precaution suggested by health-care experts. Parents should also ensure that children are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations to help protect them against childhood diseases.

About the Sounds of Pertussis

March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasteur are working together on the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign to help protect the health and wellness of adults and infants. The mission is to raise awareness about pertussis and to let parents and others in close contact with infants, know how important it is that they get vaccinated with an adult Tdap vaccine.

The Sounds of Pertussis Campaign features a public service announcement (PSA) starring Gordon, as well as onli
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SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur; March of Dimes
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