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(Fox News) Pregnant Women Should Get Whooping Cough Shot, Panel Says


An expert panel is advising expecting mothers to get a shot to prevent whooping cough during their last three months of pregnancy.

The announcement follows a frightening resurgence of the childhood disease among newborns. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious disease and its name comes from the sound children make as they gasp for air.

So far this year, more than 32,000 cases and 16 deaths have been reported. In addition, 2012 is on its way to becoming the nation’s worst year for whopping cough since 1959. Most cases are infants two month and younger, making them too young to be vaccinated because their immune systems are too immature. Health officials have pushed older children and adults to get vaccinated to reduce the number of carriers who might infect infants. About 30 to 40 percent of infected newborns get the disease from their mothers.

This is the second time women were advise to get a shot during pregnancy. The first was the flu shot, which was first recommended in the 1990s. The recommendation was approved by the government’s vaccine advisory panel on Wednesday with a vote.


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