‘Anti-vax’ mother’s regret over whooping cough ‘nightmare’

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An Australian mother has said she regrets refusing the whooping cough vaccination during pregnancy after she passed the potentially fatal infection to her newborn baby.

Cormit Avital said she had turned down the vaccination because she was a “healthy, fit, organic woman”.

She caught the disease shortly before giving birth and passed it to Eva, who has spent a month in intensive care.

Ms Avital recorded a video warning about her “nightmare” experience.

“If I could turn back time I would protect myself,” she said, in the video released by Gold Coast Health, the regional health authority.

‘A lot of suffering’

Ms Avital contracted whooping cough, also known as pertussis, around the time she gave birth, and was told she had passed it to Eva.

Within two weeks, Eva’s cough “became pretty scary, horror movie, coughing to the point of going blue, flopping in my hands, can’t breathe,” she said.

“For a moment there you think they’re dead in your hands. [It’s] a lot of suffering for a tiny little cute thing you love so much.”

What is whooping cough?

  • It is also known as pertussis and is caused by a species of bacteria, Bordetella pertussis
  • It mostly affects infants, who are at highest risk of complications and even death
  • The earliest signs are similar to a common cold, then develop into a cough and can even result in pneumonia

 

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