Whooping Cough Video Transcript

Whooping Cough Video Transcript


Transcript for whooping cough video

Dr Nikki Turner, General Practitioner; Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre, The University of Auckland

Whooping cough comes in waves about every four to six years. We always have a lot around in the community but currently we've got a very large amount in the community so everybody in New Zealand is at risk of catching whooping cough at the moment.

Dr John Cameron, General Practitioner; Clinical Director, Procare

Whooping cough is a serious disease no matter what age you catch it. In the adult, you don't want to be coughing for a hundred days; it's very unpleasant. For a newborn baby or a very young child it's catastrophic.

[Audio of young baby coughing and mother comforting baby]

Dr John Cameron

They struggle for breath. They've got very little resilience about how they will keep on breathing and to see a struggling child with whooping cough is one sight I never want to see.

[Audio of baby on a respirator]

Dr Nikki Turner

In New Zealand, if you end up in hospital as an infant with whooping cough you've got a one in ten  chance of ending up in the baby intensive care unit, and of those in the intensive care unit, you have a one in six chance of ending up with severe lung damage, brain damage or death. This is a very severe illness.

[Audio of suctioning a baby with whooping cough]

Dr Nikki Turner

Whooping cough is actually a very common disease across the whole community. We recognise it in the infants because it's so severe. It often goes unrecognized in adults. In fact probably twenty maybe thirty percent of adults who have a cough lasting more than two weeks may well have whooping cough. So there's a lot of whooping cough out there - in adult people, in the elderly, in many groups in our population that's currently not being recognized and they're at risk of spreading their disease to others.

Dr John Cameron

The only way, the absolute only way we're going to get the protection that we need for these young bubbies is by immunising. We need to immunise these young bubbies as soon as we can. We're going to use the standard immunisation schedule vaccinations at six weeks, three months and five months. That's important to do those base ones but it's also going to be important to immunise those people in and around that newborn child until they've completed those three immunisations.

Dr Nikki Turner

For those of us who are in close contact with young infants we can also be vaccinated against whooping cough. So think about parents, grandparents, anyone in close contact with young infants up to about a year of age. Pregnant women also can be vaccinated after twenty weeks of pregnancy.

Dr John Cameron

What we really are after is to reduce down the risk of that mum bringing whooping cough into the comm ... into her household that might infect her unimmunised or partially immunised child.

[Audio of Te Uru’s mother patting Te Uru on the back while Te Uru coughs. Background noise in intensive care unit]

Leeanne Clark, Te Uru’s mother

Her lips are going purple.

[Audio of Te  Uru  coughing and struggling for breath. Monitor beeping. Background noise in intensive care unit]

Dr Nikki Turner

Whooping cough is a tricky disease – you don't get protection for life from either having the disease or having the vaccine so sadly even if you've been vaccinated way in the past, you can't guarantee protection, you still need to think vaccination.


This page last reviewed 31 May 2022.

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