Pregnant women and parents of babies and young children are being warned whooping cough cases in New South Wales are on the rise.
Whooping cough usually begins like a cold with a blocked or runny nose, tiredness, mild fever and a cough. The cough gets worse with severe periods of uncontrollable coughing often followed by vomiting, choking or gasping for breath.
Some newborn babies may not cough at all, but they can stop breathing.
Whooping cough spreads easily through families, childcare centres and schools. If not treated early, people with whooping cough are infectious for three weeks.
The best protection is vaccination.
Babies need to be immunised at two months, four months, six months and 18 months. The first dose can be given as early as six weeks of age.
Children need a booster at four years.
Family members of young children or pregnant women can also get a booster every 10 years to protect themselves and keep their loved ones safe.
Getting your baby vaccinated on time gives them some protection when they are most at risk of severe illness.
If your baby's vaccines are overdue, see your local doctor as soon as possible.
Download the free Save the Date to Vaccinate app to keep track of when childhood vaccinations are due www.immunisation.health.nsw.gov.au