What is whooping cough?

Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. The disease is known to cause uncontrollable, violent coughing fits, which often make it hard to breathe. After such a fit, patients usually need to take deep breaths, which produces a whooping sound.

How does whooping cough spread?

Whooping cough, also known as 100-days cough, is highly contagious disease spread from person to person, usually by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old. Your baby can catch whooping cough from parents, grandparents, or older brothers or sisters who may not know that they have the disease.

Why is Whooping cough a concern in Singapore?

The World Health Organization states that whooping cough is a significant cause of infant death worldwide and continues to be a public health concern, even in countries with high vaccination coverage in babies.

In Singapore, whooping cough cases are rising. In 2016, a total of 78 cases were reported for whooping cough. It has increased approximately 5 times compared to 2013.

It is a deadly disease that can cause babies to stop breathing. It can lead to severe life threatening complication like pneumonia and deaths.

Tdap vaccine is recommended in pregnant women between 26-32 weeks of pregnancy.

Side Effects of Tdap Vaccine

Tdap vaccine have shown no increase in vaccine related adverse effect on pregnancy or on the health of the foetus/ newborn child.

The common side effects (may affect less than 1 in 10 people) are:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Fever
  • injection site reaction (such as injection site mass and injection site abscess sterile)



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