Orange County Health Care Agency has recently confirmed a pertussis-related death in an infant. The case is the first pertussis-related death reported in Orange County since 2007.
- Severe pertussis disease is primarily seen in infants under 6 months of age.
- All pregnant women should be vaccinated during the third trimester (weeks 27 to 36) of pregnancy, preferably during the early part of this period. Tdap should be given during every pregnancy, regardless of prior history of receiving Tdap.
- Clinicians should give five doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) to children 2 months through 6 years of age, and one dose of Tdap at 11 or 12 years of age.
During 2018, 171 cases of pertussis were reported to Orange County Public Health, including eight cases in infants under three months of age. Seven of those eight cases (88%) required hospitalization. Only one of eight had Tdap (adult tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) provided to mom during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Maternal vaccination during pregnancy has been found to be 90% effective in preventing pertussis disease in children under two months of age. Vaccination during this time stimulates production of maternal antibodies that are passed on to the infant, offering protection to the baby against pertussis during the first few months of life. The most effective way to assure vaccination during pregnancy is for the prenatal care provider to stock vaccine and give it during a clinic visit.