RALEIGH-- Monday, health officials announced the death of an infant and attributed the death to pertussis, which is more commonly known as whooping cough.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said it's the first infant death attributable to pertussis in the state.
The infant involved was two months old and lived in Forsyth County. The information was announced via a news release and it did not say if the infant was a boy or girl, or how they contracted the disease.
Health officials said whooping cough continues to spread throughout the state and country. That's why they are aggressive in reminding parents to take steps to protect their children and other loved ones.
DHHS Recommended Steps:
Make sure your child is current on his or her vaccinations. The DTaP vaccination series is recommended for children starting at 2 months of age, and continuing at 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months and 4-6 years of age.
Insist that the adults in your children's lives are vaccinated also. Whooping cough spreads easily from person to person, and young babies especially are not fully protected until they receive the full series of shots.
Ask about your children's caregivers. Babysitters, child care providers, family members, etc. who come in close contact with your children should be vaccinated.
Don't forget booster shots. By age 11, children should receive the Tdap booster. It's never too late for teenagers or adults to receive the booster if they haven't already.
State Health Director, Dr. Laura Gerald also reminds parents/caregivers that babies and young children are not fully immunized until they have finished a series of vaccinations.
What is Whooping cough? It is a highly contagious illness that is spread from person to person usually by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. It can be serious at any age, but is life-threatening in newborns and infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated. Many infants who get whooping cough are infected by caregivers who might not even know they have the disease.
For more information click on Pertussis
NCDHHS/WFMY News 2