Baby's Near-Death From Whooping Cough Is Why Moms Should Vaccinate

Heartbreaking 52

Seeing a baby hooked up to oxygen and feeding tubes is totally and completely gut-wrenching for any parent. And as I sat today and watched a news clip about a 4-month-old baby named Everlee who almost died after a bout with whooping cough, I couldn't help but feel my stomach sink a bit. Whooping cough is an "old disease" that we are suddenly hearing about again because more and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their kids. And that's just scary.

Poor little Everlee was just a few weeks shy of receiving her shot against the disease. But a child who was likely un-vaccinated at her 9-year-old sister's school happened to contract whooping cough before that, and the sister likely brought it home on her clothing because of how contagious the disease is, which is how doctors think Everlee probably caught it. And then she wound up in the intensive care unit fighting for her life.

Granted, I realize that there are extremely strong opinions and arguments for why babies shouldn't be immunized, and I'm not trying to discount those or be even remotely insensitive. However, when the health and well being of small children come into play, I just don't see how anyone could not want to protect them from a disease that really shouldn't be floating around anymore at all.

Back in November, someone in my extended family had their 9-year-old son come down with whooping cough, and the whole house wound up getting quarantined. There were several other kids at his school who got it as well -- so it was almost a mini-epidemic. I remember being scared for my son's safety in his own school and I sighed with relief at the fact that he's been vaccinated against whooping cough. Hopefully we won't have to worry about it going forward should it wind up in our town. But young babies who haven't yet had their shot are constantly at risk.

The decision of whether or not to vaccinate is a personal choice, and it's a very passionate debate that isn't going to disappear anytime soon. Unfortunately, however, neither are these kinds of diseases if people keep fighting the vaccines.

Do you think that the risks are higher with diseases like whooping cough, or with the vaccines?


Image via Zaldlmg/Flickr

vaccines, baby health


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Cynthia Parker

My baby got the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months, but caught pertussis anyway at a La Leche League meeting at nine months old. The vaccine is only 30-70% effective, meaning that about half the people who get it can still catch and transmit it. Even the acellular version is still dangerous, causing asthma, SIDS, seizure disorders, and autism. Babies who get it at two months develop no immunity (Walker 1994), and are at double the risk of asthma as if they start the series after four months old (Manitoba study 1998). One in nine children now has asthma, which is sometimes fatal and always frightening, but only one in fifty children who does not get it develops asthma.

The disease is usually only dangerous in those less than four months old, it has become much milder in the last century. I think the best course is to keep a newborn in quarantine to the greatest degree possible, until four months old, and if he gets it anyway, keep him warm, alternate anthroposophic remedies Pertudoron 1 and 2, and walk him around on your shoulder all night, or rock him on your shoulder, to help him cough up mucus from undeveloped airways (you'll need help). The disease is said to kill one in a hundred newborns who get it, so remember that your baby will probably make a complete recovery if he gets the disease at a young age.

Cynthia Parker

My baby was given the hep-B vaccine at the hospital when she was born, and at four days old started to scream without stopping, for four days and nights. It was vaccine-induced encephalitis and she was later diagnosed with autism. She got the DTaP at 2, 4, 6, and later 18 months. She had only begun to say two words by 18 months, uh for up at the playground, and uff for dog, but after the DTaP booster at 18 months, these two words immediately disappeared forever, and she didn't say them or anything else until she was 34 months old, when she started the repeated baby syllables like num-num, baba, and so on. She's in an autistic class at an elementary school now. I'm sure the DTaP further damaged her brain from what the hep-B had done. I KNOW the vaccines caused my baby's autism!

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