Protecting your New Baby from Infectious Diseases

Tips on Protecting your New Baby from Infectious Diseases

The North Coast Public Health Unit has put together a resource for new mothers on protecting their new baby from Infectious Diseases. Please click here to view.

For further copies for this resource, please contact the Public Health Support Officer:

Free Whooping Cough Vaccine Extended

The NSW Government has extended the provision of free whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine in an effort to protect newborns from the potentially life-threatening condition. The decision to extend the free whooping cough vaccine program through to at least December 2011 is due to the high numbers of people continuing to contract the disease in NSW. To view the full media release, click here.

Older children and adults can get whooping cough and can spread it to babies. Whooping cough can be life-threatening for babies and they often develop extremely severe symptoms.
Symptoms of whooping cough include:
  • a runny nose, followed by a cough, which becomes worse
  • a cough that occurs in spasms, which may be followed by vomiting
  • a cough with a ‘whoop’ (a sudden noisy gasp at the end of coughing)
Anyone with symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Whooping cough spreads quickly in childcare, schools and in families. Diagnosis and early treatment of new infections can help prevent the spread. Immunisation reduces the risk of infection but the vaccine does not give lifelong protection and reinfection can occur.

Check that your child is up to date with vaccines and that vaccines are given on time

Vaccinate babies

The whooping cough vaccine is provided free of charge for infants at 2, 4 and 6 months (the first dose can be given as early as 6 weeks of age).

Vaccinate children

A free booster is given at 4 years of age (this can be given from 3½ years) and is also provided in high school as part of the NSW School-based Vaccination Program.

Vaccinate adults

For a limited time, FREE pertussis (dTpa) vaccine is available for all new parents, grandparents and any other adults who will regularly care for infants less than 12 months of age.

If you or your child has not been immunised, discuss a catch-up plan with your doctor.

For further information about whooping cough, download the Pertussis (Whooping Cough) NSW Health factsheet or phone your nearest Public Health Unit on 02 6588 2750 (Port Macquarie) or 02 6620 7500 (Lismore) and ask to speak to a Public Health Officer.

NSW Health have recently launched a new information site in relation to whooping cough. There you will find extensive information about how to identify the disease – protect your children – prevent the spread.