Undated (WXOW) - Pertussis, better knows as whooping cough, is a highly contagious illness
that causes violent, uncontrollable coughing.
In infants, it can cause permanent disability and even death.
Now an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says women should be immunized for whooping cough with each pregnancy.
The panel recommends that the so-called "tdap" shot against pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria be given in the late second or the third trimester.
The advice comes amid an outbreak of whooping cough in the U.S. that is nearing 33,000 cases.
Sixteen deaths have been reported, most in their first few months of life. The committee finds that the whooping cough vaccinations during pregnancy are acceptably safe and raise levels of the pertussis anti-bodies in newborns.
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