Spike in whooping cough cases
MOTHERS-to-be are encouraged to vaccinate against whooping cough during pregnancy to better protect their infant against the fatal disease.
So far in 2015 there have been 216 cases reported on the Mid North Coast – well above the five-year average of 121 for the same time period.
The rate of whooping cough notifications on the Mid North Coast is also above the NSW average.
In recent months, new research has emerged that encourages mothers to be vaccinated in their third trimester at 28 weeks to provide higher protection for their baby.
Mid North Coast Local Health District director of public health, Paul Corben, said mothers on the Mid North Coast had been getting the jab in the best interests of their babies.
“Vaccination is still the single best way to prevent whooping cough although not everyone will get an immune response and immunity wanes with time,” he said.
Mr Corben said vaccinating mothers allowed the antibodies to be shared with the new baby.
“If we vaccinate mums after they’ve had their babies then that provides them a bit of protection but nowhere near as much as essentially giving a baby a higher level of antibodies when it’s born,” he said.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis , is a contagious respiratory infection which can prove fatal for babies.