Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Lisl | 2012-03-29


Pertussis (whooping cough)


I currently live in Virginia, USA. I''m pregnant, due May 27th. When our son will be about 6 weeks old, we''re supposed to travel to a big family meeting (on my husband''s side, I''m South African) in southern California. Recently there have been outbreaks of pertussis in southern California and also, infants only get the pertussis vaccination at 8 weeks, which will be after our trip. Here adults are advised to get vaccinated again against pertussis if they''re around infants. How safe will it be to travel with a 6 week old? It''ll involve 2 plane trips there and back, and a 5 hour drive to where we''ll be staying in a state park, with my husband''s VERY large, unvaccinated family. I''m worried about that and about all the people on the plane. If he was 10 weeks and up, I''d feel easier. Is it safe for him?

Expert's Reply



I would advise you against travelling with a 6 week old infant unless this is essential. From your description this trip is not essential. It is best to wait until babies are at least 3 months old before they travel by air and even then they are very sensitive to the changes in air pressure on the aircraft. Your flights are very long as well and involve flying across the USA.Also it would be taking a real risk to take your unvaccinated baby into a pertussis epidemic area.

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