- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Health officials in Louisville are reporting three cases of whooping cough in unvaccinated infants.

The metro Department of Public Health and Wellness says the three cases in infants six months or younger is highly unusual.

Health officials are urging parents to get their children immunized on schedule.

Louisville health department spokesman Dave Langdon told The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1PZcqTo) that in these cases, the babies weren’t immunized due to postponed medical appointments.

“It is vitally important for infants to get their immunizations against whooping cough on schedule,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, interim director of the health department. “In infants, this disease can be very serious and even deadly.”

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. It initially resembles an ordinary cold but can turn more serious, especially in infants.

Officials say infants with the illness may display apnea, a pause in the child’s breathing pattern. About half of infants younger than one year who get the disease need care in the hospital.

Officials also recommend adults spending a lot of time around infants get booster shots to prevent the disease.

“Even if parents and caregivers have been immunized against whooping cough as children, vaccines can wear off over a period of time,” Moyer said. “Parents and caregivers can then infect young children.”

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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