Question about Whooping Cough - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I am traveling to see my parents on Oct 5th, and from what she tells me there is a case of whooping cough going around MI. My baby is unvaccinated. Got any advice/tips/thoughts on this? I can't refund my tickets, so I am not sure what to do.
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#2 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 12:13 AM
 
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How old is your little one & did you have whooping cough when you were younger? If your little one is under 6 mos and you had whooping cough at some point, then your dd likely still has immunity left from you that was transferred before birth and the likelihood of her catching it even with direct exposure is very low.

That being said, I'd bring SA with me and go ahead with my plans. Whooping cough is frequently going around, just sometimes we know about it & sometimes we don't. : And obviously I wouldn't knowingly have my little one around someone who has whooping cough.. but so many carriers can not have symptoms that that's not always a guarantee...

Hopefully someone can come along and post some links to threads specifically about how to treat pertussis if your little one was to get it... with the right treatment it's not as scary even in little ones as the media makes it out to be - and if your little one is over 6 mos of age, she's not in the "high risk" age group anymore either.

eta: I looked at your siggy and see your dd was born beginning of July, so even if you didn't have whooping cough as a kid, she could still have antibodies that were transferred before birth - antibodies from actually having pertussis are thought to be stronger and more protective though.
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#3 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 12:13 AM
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http://www.mothering.com/discussions...light=Whooping One of many threads that come up when using the word "whooping" in the search box for the vaccinations forum.

IMO, I would go and have fun. My family has never been vax'd and never will be, never stopped us from traveling.
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#4 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 12:30 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about it unless the baby is a newborn AND someone in the parents' house is sick with it right now. There are good chances that the same thing is 'going around' where you are right now, but you don't know about it and therefore not worried
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#5 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
How old is your little one & did you have whooping cough when you were younger? If your little one is under 6 mos and you had whooping cough at some point, then your dd likely still has immunity left from you that was transferred before birth and the likelihood of her catching it even with direct exposure is very low.

That being said, I'd bring SA with me and go ahead with my plans. Whooping cough is frequently going around, just sometimes we know about it & sometimes we don't. : And obviously I wouldn't knowingly have my little one around someone who has whooping cough.. but so many carriers can not have symptoms that that's not always a guarantee...

Hopefully someone can come along and post some links to threads specifically about how to treat pertussis if your little one was to get it... with the right treatment it's not as scary even in little ones as the media makes it out to be - and if your little one is over 6 mos of age, she's not in the "high risk" age group anymore either.

eta: I looked at your siggy and see your dd was born beginning of July, so even if you didn't have whooping cough as a kid, she could still have antibodies that were transferred before birth - antibodies from actually having pertussis are thought to be stronger and more protective though.

Not trying to take over the thread but I just wanted to clarify. If I am BF my 5 month old and I had Whooping Cough as a child AND I was vaxed for it, I can still pass the immunity to him???
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#6 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if I ever had whooping cough as a kid. Not a specifically diagnosed case. I didn't think I had a LOT to worry about, we are only going to be there for 2 days, and then go down to Des Moines after that. I just want to make sure she is safe.
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#7 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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I had whooping cough last year when ds was about 2 months old. He didn't have one single cough. I, however, coughed for 6 weeks. Breastfeeding is the ultimate!

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#8 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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Whooping cough is pretty bad in Washington, it always seems to be going around. Probably just as risky here as it will be in MI. Bring some asorbic acid just incase (or know where to buy some). Best thing you and the babe can do would be to try and eat well (or nurse a lot) and get enough rest on your trip.

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#9 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 01:27 AM
 
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You're bf'ing, she'll be fine
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#10 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 06:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jarynsmom06 View Post
Not trying to take over the thread but I just wanted to clarify. If I am BF my 5 month old and I had Whooping Cough as a child AND I was vaxed for it, I can still pass the immunity to him???
Yep, he in all likelihood still has immunity from when you were pregnant with him. During the last couple weeks of pregnancy the placenta barrier between mom & baby changes so that larger particles can get through - namely antibodies. It's thought that vaccine antibodies aren't as strong in the mom though so babies don't get as long lasting immunity and that's why we see more cases of whooping cough in babies under 6 mos old now. Having had the actual disease of whooping cough, your antibodies are likely stronger & your ds will have them longer. And there's always the passive immunity that bf'ing provides.

So I guess to try & simplify, yes you can still pass antibodies to him if either of you were exposed, and yes, he got immunity from you in utero. Having had both the vax & the disease doesn't really matter. The disease immunity is in most cases stronger though & stays with a newborn longer, that's all.

But I think you're wondering if having had both the disease & the vax could lessen the antibodies he got, and the answer to that is no. One is just superior to the other.
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#11 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 06:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SabbathD View Post
I don't know if I ever had whooping cough as a kid. Not a specifically diagnosed case. I didn't think I had a LOT to worry about, we are only going to be there for 2 days, and then go down to Des Moines after that. I just want to make sure she is safe.
I'm sure she'll be safe. Even if you were vaxing her for it, at her age she wouldn't have any immunity from the vax anyways. I wasn't trying to scare you with my questions, just kind of trying to help you into a thought process of planning just in case & perhaps giving you some info that might make you feel confident. I realize now though coming back to this thread that my post could've caused worry, so I apologize if I worried you :

I'm sure you'll all be just fine & have a wonderful trip. SA is always a good travelling companion though.
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#12 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 09:38 AM
 
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Just to clarify about immunity and whooping cough:

I was under the impression that you cannot get life-long immunity from whooping cough (from the vaccine or from incident of disease--and this is the same with tetanus)--so where do you read that you can have life-long immunity from whooping cough or that you pass on immunity from breastmilk? I'd love to see the source!

Honestly, vaccinated or not, anybody can get whooping cough. Since you ARE breastfeeding your child--that is the healthiest thing for her. A HEALTHY immune system is one that can fend off disease--up your vitamin C--drink lots of fluids--practice common sense sanitation (washing hands, no sneezing on baby, etc.)...

For more info on Pertussis (just ignore the "vaccinate" messages--otherwise it's a great resource on pertussis:
CDC's Pink Book on Pertussis
Pertussis.com

Even if your child does contract pertussis, it's treatable--and since you're breastfeeding--it will most likely be less severe.
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#13 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 09:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
Yep, he in all likelihood still has immunity from when you were pregnant with him. During the last couple weeks of pregnancy the placenta barrier between mom & baby changes so that larger particles can get through - namely antibodies. It's thought that vaccine antibodies aren't as strong in the mom though so babies don't get as long lasting immunity and that's why we see more cases of whooping cough in babies under 6 mos old now. Having had the actual disease of whooping cough, your antibodies are likely stronger & your ds will have them longer. And there's always the passive immunity that bf'ing provides.

So I guess to try & simplify, yes you can still pass antibodies to him if either of you were exposed, and yes, he got immunity from you in utero. Having had both the vax & the disease doesn't really matter. The disease immunity is in most cases stronger though & stays with a newborn longer, that's all.

But I think you're wondering if having had both the disease & the vax could lessen the antibodies he got, and the answer to that is no. One is just superior to the other.

You cannot get life-long immunity to whooping cough through incident of disease OR from the vaccine--where do you get your information?
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#14 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
I'm sure she'll be safe. Even if you were vaxing her for it, at her age she wouldn't have any immunity from the vax anyways. I wasn't trying to scare you with my questions, just kind of trying to help you into a thought process of planning just in case & perhaps giving you some info that might make you feel confident. I realize now though coming back to this thread that my post could've caused worry, so I apologize if I worried you :

I'm sure you'll all be just fine & have a wonderful trip. SA is always a good travelling companion though.
Oh no! My comments were in response to yours, not in defense to them. After reading through this stuff, I decided that we would be okay, and that it was only for 2 days, and everything would be fine! Honestly thanks for everyone's information and thoughts. I appreciate it very much!
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#15 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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You cannot get life-long immunity to whooping cough through incident of disease OR from the vaccine--where do you get your information?
I didn't say you get life long immunity, but you do have antibodies to whooping cough if you've had it before and typically repeat exposure results in milder & sometimes subclinical cases. And although I don't know how long they last, you do usually get antibodies from the vaccine. So as long as you have antibodies, they are passed to your baby before birth. Just because you have antibodies to something though, it doesn't mean that you won't get the disease. But it can influence how your body responds when it's exposed. And if you re-read the part about bf'ing, I said there would be passive immunity if you and/or your child were exposed - either one being exposed can stimulate antibody production in the mom for any disease that passively helps the baby mount his/her own immune response.

In terms of where my info comes from, I couldn't quote a specific source because there's just too many places I've read. Some of it is undoubtedly from the Merck manual, but it should be pretty easy to research that antibodies are formed after exposure to any virus or bacteria, but how good they are at preventing future infections varies. But the antibodies passed trans-placentally are a different creature than those created from vaccines and are superior at providing protection in the first 6 months of life - although if moms antibodies are strictly vaccine based, there isn't really any difference, I'm just saying that the way a baby acquires antibodies in utero is different then when he's vaccinated. Obviously a baby's immunity that he's born with is only as good as what his mom has antibodies for. (Although preemies are a different story in terms of exactly how much maternal antibodies have time to be passed.)

Even people who've had red measles can sometimes get them a 2nd time & same with c-pox. That doesn't mean those people didn't develop antibodies though... I was strictly talking in terms of antibodies, and in most cases antibodies do mean a lower likelihood of getting a disease or that the disease will be milder - and this includes whooping cough.
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#16 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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Here's a quote from the Merck manual: http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanu...er265/265a.jsp

Quote:
One attack does not confer natural immunity for life, but second attacks, if they occur, are usually mild and often unrecognized.
So this can be extrapolated to apply to newborns who acquire adequate antibodies from the mom as well. (Although it's impossible to know exactly the strength of mom's antibodies or how much the infant got, there is bound to be some protective affect when it comes to how the disease would affect the infant if he/she got it.)

Also something that may be of interest to the OP:

Quote:
Transmission is by aspiration of B. pertussis (a small, nonmotile, gram-negative coccobacillus) sprayed into the air by a patient, particularly in the catarrhal and early paroxysmal stages. Transmission by contact with contaminated articles is rare. Patients usually are not infectious after the 3rd wk of the paroxysmal phase.
(bolding mine)
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#17 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mrsfatty View Post
Just to clarify about immunity and whooping cough:

I was under the impression that you cannot get life-long immunity from whooping cough (from the vaccine or from incident of disease--and this is the same with tetanus)--so where do you read that you can have life-long immunity from whooping cough or that you pass on immunity from breastmilk? I'd love to see the source!

Honestly, vaccinated or not, anybody can get whooping cough. Since you ARE breastfeeding your child--that is the healthiest thing for her. A HEALTHY immune system is one that can fend off disease--up your vitamin C--drink lots of fluids--practice common sense sanitation (washing hands, no sneezing on baby, etc.)...

For more info on Pertussis (just ignore the "vaccinate" messages--otherwise it's a great resource on pertussis:
CDC's Pink Book on Pertussis
Pertussis.com

Even if your child does contract pertussis, it's treatable--and since you're breastfeeding--it will most likely be less severe.
Yes this... on that note. When ds was 3 and in special ed early ed there was a big breakout of whooping cough. All the kids in his class were vaccinated and 1/2 of them got it, including ds. (yes Ds was vaccinated for it as well) I really made a lot of us realize how pointless some vax are. BTW our ped told me on Thursday that they are going to reccomend all kids get boosters for chicken pox now too.*sigh*

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#18 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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I was under the impression that you cannot get life-long immunity from whooping cough (from the vaccine or from incident of disease--and this is the same with tetanus)--so where do you read that you can have life-long immunity from whooping cough or that you pass on immunity from breastmilk? I'd love to see the source!
Quote:
But the antibodies passed trans-placentally are a different creature than those created from vaccines and are superior at providing protection in the first 6 months of life - although if moms antibodies are strictly vaccine based, there isn't really any difference, I'm just saying that the way a baby acquires antibodies in utero is different then when he's vaccinated. Obviously a baby's immunity that he's born with is only as good as what his mom has antibodies for. (Although preemies are a different story in terms of exactly how much maternal antibodies have time to be passed.)
[QUOTEHere's a quote from the Merck manual: http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanu...er265/265a.jsp


Quote:
One attack does not confer natural immunity for life, but second attacks, if they occur, are usually mild and often unrecognized.

So this can be extrapolated to apply to newborns who acquire adequate antibodies from the mom as well. (Although it's impossible to know exactly the strength of mom's antibodies or how much the infant got, there is bound to be some protective affect when it comes to how the disease would affect the infant if he/she got it.)
][/QUOTE]
I, too, would be interested in where you've read that pertussis antibodies pass through the placenta and protect the child. And, how is an antibody strong or weak and how does antibodies for something cause you to have a milder case of the illness, if you get it? There was a recent thread on this and the posts from Insider, from what I'm understanding, don't jive with what you've just posted. Could you please provide your sources so I could get a better understanding of this? And, sorry, but a little blurb from the Merck manual isn't convincing.
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#19 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mommy To Baby Roni View Post
[QUOTEHere's a quote from the Merck manual: http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanu...er265/265a.jsp


Quote:
One attack does not confer natural immunity for life, but second attacks, if they occur, are usually mild and often unrecognized.

So this can be extrapolated to apply to newborns who acquire adequate antibodies from the mom as well. (Although it's impossible to know exactly the strength of mom's antibodies or how much the infant got, there is bound to be some protective affect when it comes to how the disease would affect the infant if he/she got it.)
]
I, too, would be interested in where you've read that pertussis antibodies pass through the placenta and protect the child. And, how is an antibody strong or weak and how does antibodies for something cause you to have a milder case of the illness, if you get it? There was a recent thread on this and the posts from Insider, from what I'm understanding, don't jive with what you've just posted. Could you please provide your sources so I could get a better understanding of this? And, sorry, but a little blurb from the Merck manual isn't convincing.[/QUOTE]

Ok, all antibodies that a mom has pass transplacentally during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy (so far as I know the placenta changes occur around 36 or 37 wks or so, but I'm not absolutely sure on that, so gestation age at delivery is a factor in whether or not baby gets antibodies from mom.) So if mom has antibodies to pertussis, then some of those antibodies are included. When I say strength of mom's antibodies, I'm not referring to the "quality" per se, but more if there's lots of them as opposed to just a small number. The more you have, the more likely to prevent or reduce the severity of an illness. (Talking in general about any illness here.) And in general again, a natural illness produces a stronger immune response than a vaccine which results in more antibodies being produced.

I was reading the discussion with insider before and that discussion was regarding antibodies that didn't match - ie antibodies to a flu vaccine but a different strain circulated, the antibodies you had wouldn't do any good. If you have antibodies to the exact disease that you're exposed to though, then they'll help in most cases. Antibodies to an exact disease are antibodies - but in the case of pertussis antibodies aren't the whole story, just part of it.

My end point was really just that young babies ie <6 mos old, in most cases still have some antibodies from mom and if they're exposed to pertussis will either not get it or will get a milder case. Adults don't get pertussis every time they're exposed to it either... (Although it's been noted in recent years that more younger babies are getting pertussis more seriously and it's been wondered if the reason why is because the moms having babies now have in a lot of cases not had pertussis but only the vaccine.)

I'm going to PM insider & MT and see if maybe they can provide some clearer more referenced answers. I think perhaps I'm not explaining quite right what I'm trying to say. Or maybe I'm 100% wrong and they can correct me.
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#20 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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Placental transfer:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract
Quote:
CONCLUSIONS: Despite efficient placental transfer, low maternal pertussis antibody levels and their rapid decay in infant sera leave infants with little humoral protection against pertussis. These data support the rationale for maternal or neonatal immunization, with acellular pertussis vaccines, to prevent life-threatening pertussis in early infancy.
They decay very fast though...

But what this ignores is this. If a mother is able to transfer antibody placentally, then she would have enough to also provide ongoing antibody in breastmilk, though there haven't been very many studies looking at this, and.. there is still debate, as to whether what they think is the antibody to pertussis is actually the antibody to pertussis.

I've only found one study that showed this:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...t_uids=2482004

Class-specific antibodies to Bordetella pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis in human breast-milk and maternal-infant sera.
Kassim,-O-O; Raphael,-D-H; Ako-Nai,-A-K; Taiwo,-O; Torimiro,-S-E; Afolabi,-O-O
Ann-Trop-Paediatr. 1989 Dec; 9(4): 226-32
"Children under 2 years of age are most susceptible to acute respiratory infections caused by Bordetella pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis. We analysed milk samples and sera from mother-infant pairs for specific antibodies that may enhance protection against the bacterial pathogens. The results show that the breast-milk samples contained significant titres of specific IgG and IgA antibodies to the four organisms, although the mean IgG antibody levels were higher in maternal sera than in breast-milk. On the other hand, the mean IgA antibody levels to the four organisms were higher in breast-milk than in both maternal and infant sera. IgM antibodies to these organisms were relatively low or absent in many milk and serum samples. Nevertheless, the significant concentrations of specific IgG and IgA antibodies in milk samples may indicate a protective role for breast-milk against the four infections in early childhood."

If you click on related articles there are nine pages, but nothing much on pertussis...

There is this one here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...t_uids=1295946

Which shows that mothers with good immunity to pertussis have pertusiss IgA in their colostrum, so you'd think it would be in their breastmilk, and they use this as justification to vaccinate pregnant women to protect babies.

~~~

And there is this one, which would back up the idea that vaccine-induced immunity only produces IgG class, whereas natural immunity because it uses cellular pathways as well as humoral pathways is the originator of the IgA antibodies:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=16011994

But again, its used as a justification to vaccinate all and sundry, not to elucidate the mechanisms of immunity and protection transfer in the case of natural versus vaccine-induced.

With pertussis the two are very different.

It seems to be an area that no-one particularly wants to study.

“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden

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#21 of 22 Old 09-23-2006, 11:19 PM
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Ok, all antibodies that a mom has pass transplacentally during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy (so far as I know the placenta changes occur around 36 or 37 wks or so, but I'm not absolutely sure on that, so gestation age at delivery is a factor in whether or not baby gets antibodies from mom.)
I would say, since those antibodies (as well as many other good things) are found in umbilical blood at delivery, early cord cutting could also be a factor, at least to some extent.
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#22 of 22 Old 09-24-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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I would say, since those antibodies (as well as many other good things) are found in umbilical blood at delivery, early cord cutting could also be a factor, at least to some extent.

Hmmm, that's something I never thought of, but it would certainly make sense.

MT - Thanks for adding that info.
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