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EYES INTM Health: News from the World's Innovative Creators & Their Masterpieces | Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Whooping Cough Can Steal Your Life Years Later

Sweden- Stockholm | Jun 18 2013 | (23:05:02 - EDT)

People born during whooping cough outbreaks are more likely to die prematurely even if they survive into adulthood, research at Lund University in Sweden has found. Women had a 20 percent higher risk of an early death, and men a staggering 40 percent. Women also suffered more complications during and after pregnancy, with an increased risk of miscarriage as well as infant death within the first month of life.

“The results show the importance of following up patients with exposure to whooping cough in childhood, particularly pregnant women”, says Luciana Quaranta, the PhD candidate at Lund University behind the findings.

The landmark study used a globally unique database, the Scanian Economic Demographic Database, based on data from Sweden's extensive population registers. Quaranta mapped five communities between 1813 and 1968, in an effort to understand how conditions at birth, such as socioeconomic status and exposure to infectious diseases, affect us later in life.

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Whooping cough, or pertussis, was widely considered all but eradicated in many developed countries until recently. The UK, the U.S. and Australia have all seen outbreaks of the disease in the past two years.

Source: Lund University Study

More About Whooping Cough / Pertussis

Pertussis (whooping cough) is very contagious and can cause serious illness?especially in infants. Pertussis vaccines are available for children, teens, and adults, including pregnant women.

Unlike the common cold, whooping cough can become a series of coughing fits that continues for weeks. It can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and you are forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound. In infants, the cough can be minimal or not even there. They may instead have life-threatening pauses in breathing (apnea).

Whooping cough is most severe for babies; about half of infants younger than 1 year of age who get the disease need treatment in the hospital. About 1 in 4 hospitalized infants with pertussis get pneumonia (lung infection), and about two thirds will have slowed or stopped breathing. Pertussis can be deadly for 1 or 2 infants per 100 who are hospitalized.

How Whooping Cough Spreads

People with pertussis usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the bacteria. Many infants who get pertussis are infected by parents, older siblings, or other caregivers who might not even know they have the disease.

How to Protect Yourself Further Against Whooping Cough

There are vaccines available that report to do very well in stopping massive whooping cough outbreaks. If you have not had the vaccine and are interested to learn more about it, speak with your health care provider.

Basic good hygiene and staying away from those who are infected are another great method for making sure you don’t get sick.

Additional whooping cough information provided by the Center for Disease Control

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