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    March of Dimes Urges Parents to Get the Facts about Pertussis

    Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is on the rise in Arizona

    Phoenix, Arizona, November 20, 2012 —

    Sanofi Pasteur and the March of Dimes are working together on the Sounds of Pertussis campaign to raise awareness about pertussis, also known as whooping cough. We’re letting parents and caregivers know how important it is that they get vaccinated with an adult Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) booster vaccine.  

    Pertussis is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that can last for weeks. The disease is usually more severe in babies and young children, who will often experience severe coughing that can be followed by a “whooping” sound as they gasp for air.  

    Babies start pertussis vaccinations at 2 months of age, but they may not be fully protected against the disease until they’ve had at least three doses of an infant DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) vaccine.   Because family members frequently pass pertussis to babies, getting vaccinated is a simple way for adults to help protect themselves and to prevent transmitting the disease to vulnerable babies.  

    Get the facts:  

    For adults, it may be an annoying cold that won't go away. For babies, it could mean more serious complications such as pneumonia, seizures, encephalopathy or death.  

    Infants can be vaccinated with a series of shots starting at 2 months for protection against pertussis.  

    To protect your baby, "cocoon" them away from people in your household who have not had their pertussis booster shot. To learn more about the campaign, visit SoundsofPertussis.com.  

    If you are a member of the healthcare community and would like to view a video of a recent Grand Rounds on pertussis, click  here.

    If you are a medical provider and wish to supply information (in English and Spanish) about pertussis to your patients, please contact Beth Mulcahy at (602) 287-9926.  

    For question on vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, click here. 

    To learn more about vaccinations and keeping your baby on schedule, download the Parent's Guide to Immunizations.


    About March of Dimes

    March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. March for Babies — the nation’s premier walking event — is held in 900 communities across the United States. More than 7 million people get involved each year. For more information visit www.marchforbabies.com or www.nacersano.org.