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Should I get a booster shot for whooping cough (pertussis)?

Often thought of as a disease of ages past, pertussis—or whooping cough—is on the rise. To help prevent its spread, adolescents and parents of infants should get a booster vaccine, which is now combined with the adult tetanus/diphtheria vaccine. So, next time you need a tetanus booster (watch out for rusty nails), ask for the tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis combo booster. Your doc will be impressed!

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

 

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

More About this Book

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent, too!-to avoid critical, common blunders where it matters most: in the ER, pediatrics ward, all-night pharmacy, exam room, or any other medical hot spot for kids. These tips could save your child's life one day. Even tomorrow." -Dr. Jen Making health care decisions for your child can be overwhelming in this age of instant information. It's easy to feel like you know next to nothing or way too much. Either way, you may resort to guessing instead of making smart choices. That's why the nation's leading health care oversight group, The Joint Commission, joined forces with Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg on this book: to help you make the right decisions, whether you're dealing with a checkup or a full-blown crisis. The Smart Parent's Guide will give you the information you need to manage the pediatric health care system. Dr. Jen understands the questions parents face—as a mom, she's faced them herself. She walks you through everything: from how to choose the best ER for kids (not adults) to when to give a kid medicine (or not to) to how pediatricians care for their own children (prepare to be surprised). Her goal is your goal: to protect the health of your children. There simply is nothing more important.

Adults should get a tetanus shot, which now includes the pertussis vaccine, every 10 years. There is a lot less immunity against whooping cough in the adult population nowadays because most adults are not very compliant with their tetanus shot schedule unless they get an injury or something.

It's important to make sure you're up to date on your whooping cough vaccine. This is especially true if you're a parent, have young children in your family, or work with children or in the healthcare industry. 

Continue Learning about Whooping Cough

Can I Develop Whooping Cough (Pertussis) as an Adult?
Can I Develop Whooping Cough (Pertussis) as an Adult?
People of all ages can get whooping cough (pertussis). Watch Darria Long-Gillespie, MD, explain how symptoms can be different for adults and children,...
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How does whooping cough (pertussis) affect the body?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The bacterium Bordetella pertussis infects the respiratory tract and prevents natural defense system...
More Answers
What will happen if my child’s cough isn’t treated?
James FortenberryJames Fortenberry
Any child with a prolonged cough (more than 10 days) should be seen by his regular doctor. The docto...
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What You Need To Know About Whooping Cough
What You Need To Know About Whooping Cough

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.