Killing an Infant: Pertussis The Epidemic That Shouldn’t Happen

Imagine if your infant, or newborn grandchild or newborn family member, or good friend’s newborn was killed because you didn’t get a vaccine. How would you feel? Imagine that if you just got a shot, a vaccination, you could save the life of the most vulnerable among us.

The Anti Vaccination Crowd is Responsible For Deaths of Newborns
Ignorance is killing newborns.   The anti-vaccination movement is responsible for over 20 deaths this year from pertussis and that number is going to increase. The anti-vaccination crowd are people who are a danger to the public, to the most vulnerable in our society- the newborn. These people have a belief – not backed up by a shred of science, disproven in multiple studies, and yet think nothing of loudly proclaiming it is wrong to vaccinate kids. It is one thing to have a belief – but their belief is causing the death of newborns.

Whooping cough is on the rise, and while it is a nasty thing for kids to get, it is deadly for infants. For infants, who cannot get a vaccine until they are two months old, are vulnerable to the bacteria Bordetella Pertusus – the agent that causes the disease. Death from this doesn’t happen because they cough- the newborn stops breathing, or goes into heart failure and in spite of all the modern medical science, very little can be done for them once they get it.

In 2012  there were over  48,000 cases of pertussis in the U.S. (and that number is underestimated) and 25 deaths.  The number of deaths from infants this year has already surpassed that number, the most PREVENTABLE deaths since 1955.

Ten infant deaths in California were reported with the 9100 cases they had in 2010 and then 91 percent of the California kindergardeners were vaccinated. Already this year there are over 3800 new cases of pertussis and 400 new cases a week being currently reported, with two infant deaths just in the state of California so far.

Texas recently reported the highest number of pertussis cases in modern history. This is an epidemic and it is fueled by a group of people whose unwillingness to vaccinate their children is a public health issue.

When we have had public health issues we have enforced quarantines. It is time to quarantine those who are not vaccinated. Non vaccinated children should not be allowed in public schools. Much like we enforce the taking of TB medicines to those who have TB, we should enforce vaccination or quarantine those who are not vaccinated.

Don’t Be A Part of The Problem -Protecting Your Newborn
When did you last get your pertussis vaccine? Did you know that pertussis vaccination is only effective for ten years, and that today you could go to most pharmacies (like Walmart or CVS) and get a shot that not only covers pertussis but tetanus? That’s it- one simple shot and you can protect an infant from death.

If you are a parent of a newborn child – make sure you are vaccinated. If you are an expectant mother in your third trimester get a booster for it, as the antibodies in your breast milk will provide some protection.

If you have a newborn, and are in epidemic areas, don’t take your kids out in public. And if someone wants to come see them, ask if they have had a vaccine and if they have not- don’t let them come. And do not let people come who have a cough.

These infant deaths are directly related to an anti-vaccination campaign. Andrew Wakefield published a paper stating autism was related to vaccination. That was proven false and yet took hold among many people Wakefield can no longer practice medicine in the United Kingdom. Wakefield moved to the United States and found some Hollywood stars loudly proclaim that vaccines caused autism. Jenny McCarthy loudly proclaimed the link between autism and vaccination and has since recanted now that she is on a mainstream television show.

To be clear: there is no food that can “boost” the immune system to prevent this disease.

There is no “homeopathic” cure or “homeopathic” vaccine that can fix this.

The anti-vaccination crowd is the reason for this epidemic. The epidemic didn’t happen before the anti-vaccination crowd started spouting their nonsense. Don’t be ignorant, don’t let a child die because you are ignorant, or don’t want to take the time to get a vaccination.

My son turns four years old in July. I had pertussis two weeks before he was born, but it was diagnosed and treated before he was born. I would have never have forgiven himself if I would have killed my son because I didn’t know that my vaccines need to be updated.  Now that you know you have to, don’t kill a child, update your vaccination.

Thankfully my pertussis was taken care of before my son was born. Otherwise my ignorance could have killed him. Get your vaccinations up to date- don’t kill a kid

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

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