A tiny life lost to whooping cough
October 22nd, 2010
01:25 PM ET

A tiny life lost to whooping cough

Whooping cough is a rather mild-sounding name for a disease that can kill a baby before it’s even diagnosed.

Ten infants in California have died since the first of the year in an outbreak of whooping cough, whose proper medical name is pertussis. Many Americans think of it as a disease of the past, but nearly 6,000 cases in California  and more nationwide suggest otherwise.

Although California has had the highest number of whooping cough cases this year, other states are seeing slight increases. And Michigan has been watching a rise since the second half of 2008, which continues, according to the CDC. By Aug. 15, Michigan had seen 610 pertussis cases, compared with 902 for all of 2009 and 315 cases in 2008.

Daryl and Felicia Dube of Lancaster, South Carolina, became all-too familiar with the disease this year. Their baby son, Carter, came down with pertussis in January.

Whooping cough explained

Carter, just 5 weeks old, developed a low-grade fever one day and was unusually fussy but didn’t show any other obvious symptoms, said Felicia Dube, 35. She called the family’s pediatrician, who told her it was probably nothing serious but had her bring him in that same day to be sure. At the office, the doctor became concerned about the baby’s rapid breathing and called an ambulance to take him to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 30 miles away.

Things only got worse at the hospital over the following days as Carter’s eyes rolled around, he grew weak and irritable and he refused to eat. His heart started racing but his blood pressure was puzzlingly low.

Then the coughing started.

“This may sound strange, but the sound of it was like listening to a man, a smoker, cough,” Felicia Dube said.

Listen to what whooping cough sounds like

Carter was coughing so hard that it would make his feet come up in the air. It hurt and made him cry, which made him cough more, his mother said.

When the infant could not catch his breath and turned blue, he was rushed to the pediatric intensive care unit and given a high concentration of oxygen. Test results hadn’t come back yet , but doctors believed he had pertussis and aggressively treated him with antibiotics and sedatives.

“He wasn’t responding to anything,” Dube said.

After several frustrating days as Carter got worse and worse, surgeons hooked him up to a respirator. When that didn’t help, surgeons implanted an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which takes over the work of the heart and lungs. Large tubes came out of Carter’s neck, routing his blood through a bedside machine.

“They tried to prepare us for it, but you’re not prepared to see that,” Dube said. “… Once they did that to him, we couldn’t touch him, so I couldn’t hold him.”

WATCH: Why it's important to protect against pertussis

And it wasn’t enough. Nine days after coming down with a 100.1-degree fever, Carter Dube died. Lab tests finally confirmed the pertussis diagnosis two days later.

“They did everything they could for him,” his mother said of the doctors and staff at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. “They tried. They cried as hard as we did.”

At 5 weeks, Carter was too young to have received his first pertussis vaccination. Because bad weather had kept the family from traveling since he was born, the infection only could have come from the parents, 10-year-old brother, Zach, or the pediatrician’s office, Dube said.

“It’s a horrible guilty feeling as his mother – I’m the one who’s supposed to protect him, and I could have been the one who gave it to him,” she said. “… That’s something you just don’t shake.”

Dube has become an advocate for adult pertussis booster shots to protect babies through what’s known as “cocooning.”

Why are parents skipping vaccines?

“Nobody should have to watch what we watched,” she said.

soundoff (894 Responses)
  1. Emily

    "I hope that everyone who has used this story to hop on the soapbox regarding their opinion of vaccination...goes straight to hell."

    Dear kaisersouse, I'll be praying the most for you.

    October 22, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Christine

      I think its probably a kid.. they also wished valerie would die

      October 22, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      LOL wow.. everyone has their opinion

      October 22, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      LOL whos a fearmonger???? you jump around a lot

      October 22, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    My now-14 year old daughter contracted pertussis when she was only 3-weeks old. We spend a miserable 6 weeks watching the respirators breathe for her, with the memory of the first night, when she stopped breathing 8 times in 30 minutes, fresh in our minds. It is frightening waking up at 3am to a purple baby. Fortunately, we got our baby to help in time, and she is now a perfectly normal high school freshman. But, stories like this bring it all flooding back. She got it because other children were not vaccinated, and spread the disease to my daughter's siblings at school, who carried it home. PLEASE VACCINATE!

    October 22, 2010 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timd

      If your child is vaccinated, why do you care if another child is not? Your child should be theoretically protected then, no? If you claim that unvaccinated childeren are making vaccinated childeren sick, you just addmitted that the vaccinations DO NOT WORK and guess what? They don't.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • Mary Ann

      Mike – weren't your children vaccinated? If your children were vaccinated then the "other" children should not have been able to give your children pertussis....so are you saying the vaccines don't work?

      October 22, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Terra


      Because Your UNVACCINATED child coming in contact with my baby who is too young for the vaccine will give him an ilness that will KILL him. That is why I care if another child is not vaccinated. YOUR UNVACCINATED CHILD IS RESERVOIR OF DISEASE!! This is a fact.

      The article clearly states that this baby was too young to vaccinate, if everyone else had been vaccinated the child would not have contracted pertussis.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • slg

      No, Mike is saying that his older child did not physically get sick but if the older child is around another child at daycare/school with the disease, they then become a carrier. The disease gets in their system regardless and then they bring it home to the newborn that has not been vaccinated and does not have the healthy immune system to fight off the disease.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • TJ


      There are other instances in which a vaccine will fail. immunocompromised patients, etc. The vaccine works on the basis the the immune system is healthy enough to fight the infection. If the immune system fails then the entire vaccine is worthless but hey, good to know you're sympathetic.

      October 22, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      My friend's newborn baby contracted Whooping Cough from her older sister who had just been vaccinated according to the pediatrician. So keep this in mind if you are planning to have multiple children and vaccinate them.

      October 22, 2010 at 23:30 | Report abuse |
  3. I'm sorry

    Dube family,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure Carter was a beautiful baby. I'm sure he filled your heart with great happiness during the short time he was with you. I can only imagine the great pain ans sorrow you are all feeling right now. I wish I could take some of your sorrow away.

    A parent.

    October 22, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. musings

    Tragic! Since these babies can be too young to receive a vaccine, though not too young for other procedures – thus the trip to the pediatric office – might it not be a good idea to consider breast-feeding? Isn't that supposed to supply the mother's immunities to the child? I don't know if little Carter was breast-fed. I wonder if those babies which are have somehow escaped this epidemic?

    October 22, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Relayman5C

      You have mentioned the one thing that nobody seems to want to talk about: breast feeding. My son was breast fed for 21 months and didn't have an antibiotic until after he was five years old. Although I'm not sure that would have prevented this tragedy, it wouldn't have hurt. I don't know why pediatricians don't emphasize breast feeding more.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • Carter's Mom

      Yes Carter was breatfed and it DID NOT protect him because I as his parent didn't know about the Tdap vaccine and I had not have the immunization since I was a child.

      October 23, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
  5. Michelle

    I think everyone is doing their best to protect their kids. I know there are a LOT of parents shouting from the rooftops that these vaccines harmed their children. It is hard to ignore that when you have a baby and it is time to receive his/her 30th shot in two years. I think it is only natural that parents are going to research the disease figure out the odds of them contracting it and make a decision based on that.

    October 22, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lahoney

      People are shouting from the rooftops because some quack from England fabricated one study that supposedly proved that vaccines caused autism. ONE. But let's just ignore the fact that since then there have been countless studies that have debunked that theory. And let's also ignore that the onset of autism coincides with the period during which children are being vaccinated. Autism existed before vaccinations and children who dont' get vaccinated have the same rate for developing autism as children who do get vaccinated. But oh no. let's listen to all the hysterics yelling from rooftops because their child has autism and let's try and drown out the sound of the mother's crying because their children are dead from preventable disease.

      October 22, 2010 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
  6. Christine

    LOL WOW really?

    October 22, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jenn

    Valerie- CNN isn't using the story . The parents volunteered to put their story out so that people are aware of what is happening and get their boosters and vaccines so that another family doesn't have to go through that horrible tragedy again. I mean ...really...shame on you for turning this into something it isn't.

    October 22, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Rich

    Just get the vaccinations. I really do not understand the reluctance. I received all of mine along with all my friends and family members back in the 60's, 70's and 80's. Never had ANY issues on any level. Come on folks. Stop believing the fear mongering and take care of your kids. Get the damn shots.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timd

      You only had a fraction of the vaccinations they give now. 32 in all in the first two years. Don't be silly.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      "I received all of mine along with all my friends and family members back in the 60's, 70's and 80's. Never had ANY issues on any level"

      thats what Im trying to say! I had mine in the 70s and I was very healthy!!

      October 22, 2010 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • Christine


      what makes you the expert on that?

      October 22, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • musings

      Did you read the article? This infant, at 5 weeks, was too young for the shot. That means that in this epidemic, it is newborns who are at risk, not just kids whose parents won't vaccinate.

      The relevance of the article is not to the question of whether or not to vaccinate, it is about babies who fall though the cracks of the vaccination system for one reason or another.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      timd: 32 vaccines... wow. 32 different viruses spread out over 6 years.

      Your body fights off 1000s of foreign entities EVERY SINGLE DAY.

      WTF IS 32 MORE?! Idiot.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      There are 20 more shots now. So what you did 40 years ago does not compare. And also autism was rare then compared to now.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Vaccines contain the following ingredients: Phenol – carbolic acid, a deadly poison, Formaldehyde, Alum, Aluminum phosphate, which is very toxic, Acetone – used in fingernail polish, anti freeze among others. If you don't believe me, then ask your doctor for the ingredient list. They have to provide it if you ask. There are many studies that seem to be ignored that show unvaccinated individuals have less health issues than vaccinated folks. The stats are out there. Go read the World Health Statistics Annual.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • Mom of 2

      I am NOT an anti-vaccine mom. But please do not use "I got mine when I was a kid and I am fine" as an argument against those parents that choose to not vaccinate. The quantity of vaccines has tripled since we were kids and no studies have been done so show how safe they all are when soo many are administered at once. All parents want to do the right thing. You can not ignore the fact that there ARE toxins in these shots. As parents, all we can do is weigh and balance the risks with the benefits and make the decision that we feel is best for our own families. I do not believe there is a single "anti-vax" parent out there who desires their child to get ill or for their child to spread illness to others. We need to not be soo judgmental.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
  9. Oh Me

    Do your research ma'am? Children can pick this up from siblings, family members unless you keep your child quarintined in the house with no contact with anyone that's been on the outside they are at risk.
    Reality is with everything now a days you take a risk, but vaccines are benefitial. I'm sure they will be looking into creating a vaccine for pertussis that infants younger can take. It's worth the risk to vaccinate children this disease has killed way too many children. SO SAD!!

    October 22, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LG

    Valerie, Where do you live where pertussis is a common disease? Please tell me because I would like to make sure my family, friends, no I visit. Thank you

    October 22, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. timd

    Parents who don't question the need for 30 vaccinations in 2 years aren't just drinking the kool aid, they are chugging it. Don't you see the flood of class action lawsuits against big pharma for all the poison they are delivering to society?

    October 22, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TJ

      Oh right. yeah. You know what, we don't need to wash our hands. It's silly really. All some crap the soap industry came up with to sell more product! And who needs to verify that meat is cooked to the proper tempertature. E coli is just a farce! And that whole pasteurisation of milk? Nah! I like me some good raw, spoiled milk, I do.

      And what's that funny penicillin stuff that Flemming was on about? Pfft... medicine from mold on bread! What a crock! What's that going to fix?

      And the WHO wiping out small pox? Who were they kidding?

      October 22, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
  12. musings

    Those who have posted here believing Carter not to have been vaccinated by parental choice or neglect have failed to read the article. At five weeks, he was not ready for his first DPT shot. If he had been vaccinated, he might still have had too immature an immune system to have withstood the onslaught of this epidemic disease. I wonder therefore if the six weeks (at least) generally prescribed for breast-feeding might have saved him. The article does not say if he was breast-fed.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fam1130

      To answer your question Carter was breastfed. But it would not have mattered if he was or wasn't. Carter was not eligible for his first set of shots before the age of 8 weeks. My husband and I were not immunized at the time and he more than likely contracted it from one of us.

      Felicia Dube

      October 23, 2010 at 00:00 | Report abuse |
  13. Valerie

    Jenn, how can you be so sure that these people really even exist and that CNN didn't make them up or change the names? I mean, the baby has a Patriots cap on in... South Carolina. Huh? Anyway, I understand if they moved from New England or something, but really, just blindly believing what CNN writers write is folly. They are always making mistakes and only write what Ted Turner allows them to.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Felicia Dube (Carter's Mom)

    Valerie, just so you know Carter was kept at home ! We didn't allow people to randomly come over and cough on him. CNN did not USE MY FAMILY !! I talked to the personally and the words he used were MINE ! Not something they made up to make the story more "heart wrenching" !! It is hard to keep our 10 yr old away from his brother when we live in the same house ! We didn't allow random people in our house, Carter went to the doctor for his check up but if you read the story he went ot the peds office because he had a fever.

    Don't point fingers at my family and the way I took care of my son until you have walked in my shoes ! I believe that everyone has a right to chose if they vaccinate or not. But if you did your research on Pertussis or took time to read the information you would see that the last vaccine we get at children at the age of 11 has been found to wear off. The push is for adults to get the TDAP vaccine and prevent them from spreading it to the small children.

    It is so easy for everyone to sit back and express their opinions on this matter and what could have been done or not done. But in the end you have not lived my life for the past 9 months since Carter earned his wings ! So you don't know what you would have done or how you would have reacted.

    Take the time to get the information and do the research. I didn't put Carter's story up here for anyones pity or to give you a chance to judge my family. I put it up here so people would realize that it was real and it happens to real people.

    If you want to see my reality go to the memorial video that I made for Carter and look at the last couple of pictures closely on the video and tell me why you would think a parent would intentionally do this to there child.


    If you would like to speak to me directly you canfind me on facebook and Carter has a memorial page on facebook also.

    Felicia Dube

    October 22, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bel

      Thank you, Mrs. Dube, for being willing to share your story. My condolences on your loss.

      October 22, 2010 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Donna in KC

      Dube family,
      I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know that there are many people, including myself, that care. And for the babies that will be saved from this, you made the difference. May God bless you always.
      R.I.P. Carterbug

      October 23, 2010 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
    • NYC MOM

      Felicia, Please accept my family's sincere sympathies over Carter's loss, a terrible, terrible tragedy. Don't be bothered by the bloggers; there are always people out there who flame and blame. Carter's story has prompted me, and many others I'll bet, to ask my doctor if I should get a "booster." My child is 21, but I would not like to risk giving this disease to someone else's baby. Virtually all U.S. children are vaccinated, and I'll bet that most parents who read the CNN piece will recognize that becoming a carrier is a real risk. The non-science spouted by the flamers, and blame on you and your family, represents a tiny, tiny minority of those who will read Carter's story. I wish you and your family the very best, and thank you for putting Carter's story "out there" to spare other families what yours has endured and save the lives of beautiful babies like Carter.

      October 23, 2010 at 09:17 | Report abuse |
    • AbbieR

      Tell it, Mom. My mom, at 93, still wonders what she could have done to prevent her five daughters from contracting polio...before the vaccines came out. We all fortunately survived, but not without consequences. I was four months old and don't remember, but my oldest sisters do. It was and is a terrible agony to go through what you have been through and I applaud your willingness to share the story. Don't pay any attention to the crazy people with alternative agendas on here – you have millions of mothers and fathers in sympathy and empathy with you. Your story is touching and its message is vital. Big hug to you.

      October 23, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    Congratulations Oprah. Another baby you killed.

    Just remember that. It took 7 days for him to cough himself to death.

    And his parents couldn't hold him.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Katie

    I too, am a mother of a child who lost their life to Pertussis. People dont understand how HORRIBLE this disease is... especially to infants. They always say "It wont happen to me" and you know what??? IT CAN! If it happened to the Dube's and to our family, it can happen to yours. Infants like Carter, and my daughter Callie, had no immunities against it. They were too young to be vaccinated. Neither baby was around many people, other than family and the doctors. Its sad. Its not fair that these children are losing their lives all because people are afraid to get vaccinated. ADULTS NEED TO HAVE THIS BOOSTER AS WELL!! Dont say you "dont need it' because youre not around children, because I dont care if you never see a child, you STILL NEED TO GET THE BOOSTER EVERY 10 YEARS!!! So suck it up cupcakes, and just get it DONE!

    October 22, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      Im sorry 🙁

      October 22, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      I'm sorry your baby died, but vaccinating adults wouldn't have saved your baby. The vaccine doesn't prevent transmission, she still would have caught it.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      Lisa, are you being intentionally obtuse?

      Katie, thank you for sharing your experience. I am so sorry for your loss. I plan to go get the booster shot as soon as possible.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
    • Felicia Dube (Carter's Mom)

      Katie, you are my heart in this because you know my pain and we have shared our stories together. I know that my Carterbug and your Callie are playing together in heaven. I hope that are new blessings will have an undeniable bond to each other.

      People don't understand that if an adult is vaccinated then they will have a smaller chance to pass it on to a child. Nothing is 100% but we still go on with life. We still get up on go on with life but it is a nightmare everyday.


      October 22, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      To Katie and Dubes,
      My heart breaks for you. My children have always had their vaccinations on time but I didn't understand that I could help out by getting vaccinated myself. I am around other moms and babies at my daughter's preschool. I'll get it done.
      I'm so very sorry for what you went through.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • Angelina

      I am a pediatric nurse and mom of 5. I have seen children die of Pertussis. I breastfeed until my children naturally wean and I vaccinate my children. Our 3rd son still passed away as an infant in his sleep. Sometimes there is no one to blame, sometimes it is not for us to understand why angels are made. All I can do is give my sympathy and prayers to this family. As I know, it is hard to continue breathing at first for mom, dad, aunts, uncles, siblings. I pray for this family and hope that they can find support groups, much like the ones that created a new life for our family along with lifelong friends. God bless!

      October 22, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • sickofmedialies

      Have you read whats in vaccinations? We have enough things in our environments to dumb us down I'll pass getting a neurotoxin every 10 years.

      October 23, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
  17. Drazul

    I am truly sorry for your loss

    October 22, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Mary

    Did you even READ the story? This baby WAS kept home.

    The fact that the booster doesn't work in everyone makes it even more urgent that EVERYONE get it.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Mary Ann

    Vaccines are not the golden shield everyone thinks them to be....a very big, homeschooling family that I know of had all of their children vaccinated for pertussis and they still got it – I hear this more and more these days, people who vaccinate and still come down with the disease that they were vaccinated for.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Sara

    I am so sorry to you and your family for such a great loss. You did everything you could to help Carter, always remember that. No one will understand your loss, unless they have walked in your shoes. It wasn't anyones fault, it just happened.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. jes

    everyone on here fighting about the vaccines are ignorant. This is a very sad story about a baby who has lost his life to a serious disease and you guys want to post all these comments calling eachother morons and every thing else. Very pathetic.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Melz

    I am not sure if this is your 1st child.... I just had a baby in Feb of this year. Approx. 2 days after you and the baby is discharged (if everything is ok) from the hospital you must take the baby to the doctor for a newborn well appointment & just in case you did not know but there are certain vaccines that are given to the baby as soon as they're born.... Ask your doctor when you go for your OB/GYN appt. I think that it very harsh too me to keep other sibiling away like you say!! That can be hurtful to the other sibilings & you can cause the sibiling to have recentment towards the new baby because they are taking it as you love the baby more than them.... Good luck with you and your baby!

    October 22, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mary

    Felicia, my heart goes out to you. I cannot imagine dealing with this kind of loss. I hope that some good will come out of your sharing your story and that it moves parents to understand the importance of vaccinating their children against these horrible diseases.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. dingdingding

    Just wondering – for those of you who want to keep your baby "locked up" or whatever at home before they are old enough to get vaccines, are you going to tell all your friends and relatives that they can't see the baby in that time-frame? What happens if you need to leave the house, will you take your baby with you? Or would you get a sitter (who might not be vaccinated)? If you have other kids, will you not let them bring friends over? Maybe you should have an at-home birth too, so the baby won't have to breathe hospital are where nosocomial infections can be very high. I know parents want to do everything in their power to protect their babies before vaccination, but sometimes the only thing you can do is make sure their environment protects them, that environment included the other adults and people around the baby.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Lisa

    Yet more propaganda – the pertussis vaccine DOES NOT PREVENT TRANSMISSION. All it does is prevent the vaccinated person from showing symptoms of the disease. Even if this child's parents, brother, and every single person he came in contact with had been fully vaccinated for pertussis, and the vaccine worked in every single one of those people as it was designed, he STILL would have contracted pertussis and died. VACCINATING EVERYONE WILL DO NOTHING TO SAVE INFANTS TOO YOUNG TO BE VACCINATED. This is an incredibly sad story, especially considering the fact that I have a 2-month-old infant at home, but it's propaganda.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timd

      I completely concur. I believe if I could have a few hours with anybody who was pro-vaccine otherwise. Sadly, people these days don't have the time or the will to drill down and get the facts. If they did, they would see that studies are either inconclusive or twisted by vaccine makers who fund them. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the people out there think that doctors are god-like and knew everything and are not subject to corruption or susceptible to insane marketing strategies that generate so much misinformation, that when you are done reading the marketing materials, you don't know what to think. They are just as susceptible to the glossy brochures with pictures of smiling, healthy people with excellent erections. And worse doctors are groomed to be egotistical and trained to think that the average person is health stupid and needs to be educated by them – the superior intellect. Health care in general, in the USA, has become a fraud.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Jm

      It may encourage more adults to get a booster and prevent a pregnant woman from developing the disease.

      My sorority sister picked up swine flu three months after giving birth. She ended up on a vent for two weeks.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • jones

      @timd i don't think a few hours of you talking to me would convince me of much. and as you seem to be set in your opinion, i doubt i could educate you in exchange.

      first, i'd like to say, i don't think doctors are god-like; i think the majority of MD's are idiots. that is because most modern doctors are physicians only, and cannot remotely be considered scientists. but physicians can't take credit for vaccination; vaccination is an old and proven system that predates drug conglomerates, a method to make your own body work for you that has real *science* to back it up.

      from reading the comments posted here, i can see there are more than a few people who don't understand the concept, and i'm not going to waste time trying to explain elementary immunology to them, mainly because they are not interested in hearing it - they've already made up their minds.
      the second school believes "vaccination" in and of itself isn't 'evil', but that the drug companies are putting in all sorts of... what was it, er, toxins? ha ha. there's not a whole lot that goes into vaccine mixture, mostly inert preservatives, but if you really want to believe that Big Pharma wants to poison you, be my guest... i'll continue believe 911 was an inside job 😛

      i find it lamentable how frequently science is under attack in this country. people demonize it, disparage it, deny it - until they really need it. then, when science and medicine fail them, they become angry at it's lack of effectiveness at fixing something that could have been so easily prevented. ah well.

      so you know - i hold a degree in microbiology; i worked as a molecular biologist for nearly a decade on infectious disease, before accepting my current position as a research immunologist at a cancer center. it's not really opinion, on my part, it's just kind of what i *do.*

      October 22, 2010 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
    • sickofmedialies

      I applaud you Lisa, if people cannot understand what you just wrote then they are sheeple and deserve the alzheimer's they will get, with all these boosters and toxic shots.

      October 23, 2010 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
  26. MOM22222222

    My son came down with whooping cough AFTER receiving the first shot and I brought him to the hospital, right away they could tell what he had, he had a high grade fever and his breathing was so bad he was turning blue, he almost died, the doctors kept him on oxygen all night. He was given the needle two weeks before he caught it. What happened next was puzzling, as my child kept getting these needles, approximately 1 – 2 weeks after getting them he would come down with the whooping cough and again I was at the hospital hoping and praying he would live through it again. Up until he was 7 years old, he had the whooping cough 20 times. The needle although required to fight this nasty whooping cough, never helped him. Each time, I was back at the hospital with my child extremely ill and unable to breathe. I do not understand why if they get the shot, that they would still get the whooping cough. The doctors could not explain why to me. My son is now 16 years old, and when he gets sick, he sounds like he has the whooping cough, he gets pnemonia almost everytime now. Doctors still cannot explain why this affects him. Personally I think some of these shots help the children, but I do not believe it helps all of them. My heart goes out to the family.....god bless....

    October 22, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply

    Do you really think that keeping an infant away from older siblings is a feasible answer? Just because you keep them in another room doesn't mean they won't contract something from them. I also hope you and your husband don't plan on ever leaving the house either. You must be kidding with that comment. I understand keeping your child protecting but never leaving the house for 2 months is completely unreasonable. You are obviously a naive first time mother.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Thomas F Gibson MPH

    This is why it is vitally important for adults to have the Tdap booster shot and to breastfeed. If the mother cannot lactate, contact the La Leche League. They will put you in contact with someone that can help.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Tuut

    Are you serious Valerie? You are going to keep your baby in a bubble? According to you keeping it away from others will prevent it catching something. That's just a big load of BS, have you taken into account you shouldn't get near to your baby as well? As soon as you get out you risk bringing back something. Are you saying to me you'll put your baby in a bio hazard suit and you won't even be able to touch it? How are you going to change the diaper? Are you willing to do that? That makes you more crazy then those anti vaccine nuts. Where did you even get the notion that vaccines are irrational and neurotoxic? You call CNN a propaganda tool for the vaccine lobbyist. Yet you yourself have been fooled by the anti vaccination propaganda. There is absolutely no significant scientific proof that vaccines cause autism, if that was what you were referring to. The reason why whooping cough has seen an increase in most states is because there are people stupid enough to listen to the likes of Jenny McCarthy. Why don't you just accept it, you got it wrong. Why do people always insist they know better than professionals? There is nothing wrong with some healthy skepticism. But your arguments do not fall under 'healthy skepticism'. It's good that you had your vaccinations, but you have some serious misconceptions.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dad-of-4

    To all above posters, and didn't read all except Valeries thread, but no mention of breast-feeding and the benefits for fighting off common germs. Yes no vaccines for the first eight weeks, but formula is just bottled sugar with not alot of nutrition let alone bacterial and immune antibodies passed from the mothers. Our societal stigmas attached to breast-feeding is the dumbing down of America, and our priorities to our children, albeit we want to protect, we look for easy ways of doing preventive practices...vaccines alone wont cut it, they help, but am curious about statistics associatted with adverse effects to vaccinations and if the mothers started breast feeding from the onset to help fight vaccines antibodies to build up the immune system. And for those mothers that say that cant, wont or do not have time for breast-feeding, most if not all communities have a breast milk bank in them...its where wet nurses came from in the middle ages...probably before that in the egyptian era.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ben's Mom

      While breast milk is ideal, formula is not bottled sugar. The nutritional content mimics breastmilk as closely as possible. After I struggled to breastfeed my son for the first 3 weeks of his life, with inadequate milk production leading to him loosing too much weight and getting too jaundiced, combined with severe pain when he latched on, his pediatrician told me that the benefits of breastmilk over formula are modest and after 6 weeks, the difference is very small. We finally chose to feed our son formula after an agonizing few weeks and all of us (especially him!) were much happier. My son is 10 months old now and has never been ill once. Yes, it's true that breastmilk is the ideal food for a baby, but there are plenty of healthy babies on formula too, and most of the medical professionals I talked to about this said there isn't that big of a difference.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
    • ieat

      Here is another question. Would adults getting vaccines make a difference? Many children who got sick have gotten the vaccine on schedule. As a few moms here mentioned that their kids got whopping cough and they have had their shots. This means an infant can still catch it from someone who got the shots already. Maybe this is just a terrible tragedy that would have happened anyways.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • Angelina

      I must concur. I feel that nurses and physicians should have to devote one semester to lactation consulting. It is horrible the lack of education in this area that new moms get. I have seen it over and over. If factories cannot even regulate washing spinach, etc. effectively, how can they guarantee formula?

      October 22, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  31. Valerie

    Felicia, I am very sorry for your loss. I also worry that your story will be my story, as there is currently an outbreak here and I have two older children, one of which goes to public school. Just because you chose to share your story doesn't mean that CNN still isn't using your tragedy for their own purposes. I'm not so sure that it is even possible to get everyone in America to get a booster shot. That is why, I personally will be doing my best to keep my child at home, no trips anywhere for 2 months, period. I have no other options. Immunity is not confered through breast milk, but at least my kids have had all their shots. I really don't know what else I can do to avoid this outcome. Lindsey suggested I get a booster after the baby is born before we go home, I worry about that as well.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. musings

    Felicia Dube – I am sorry for your unavoidable tragedy (given present day pediatrics). Your son, Carter, was too young to be vaccinated and if half the people here had read the article, they would know that. Something must be done to protect newborns in this kind of an epidemic we seem to be having. Thank you for telling us your story. One of my first childhood memories is of the funeral of my newborn baby brother, whose death probably would not have occurred in a different place (because my mother would have had a safe c-section). I hope my parents did not feel guilty about this circumstance, but they probably did. People always try and revisit what they might or might not have done wrong. I sense that you and your husband were doing everything right, and were terribly unlucky. Maybe the medical profession can find a way to save newborns who lack the immunity they will later acquire both naturally and through vaccinations. Clearly, the newborns are at risk right now. God bless your family.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. DM

    I don't agree with your statement. I have 5 children and ALL of them had this vaccination, plus all other required ones as well. My oldest is 18 1/2 and has NEVER gotten whooping cough. None of my children have, SO the vaccination does work.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Melvin

    I have read some many unfortunate stories of young childrens and teens dying from diseases we should not be really be worrying about anymore. People need to stop reading wrong information about vaccines that have save millions of lives the world over. The results overwhelmingly speak for itself that we all need to get vaccinated periodically to keep these diseases at bay. Doctors and scientists have repeatedly said the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risk of something going wrong. Wake up people. Get vaccinated. It only take about minute to protect yourself and save another hundred, maybe another thousand lives.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. No Vaccines For Me

    Could the virus have come from one of the other vaccines the baby probably received??? Maybe a tainted vaccine or perhaps even the wrong vaccine? Why weren't the parents or the sibling tested for pertussis to end the speculation? What form of pertussis did the child have? There are more than one and the vaccine doesn't cover them all. This is all big pharma vaccine propaganda meant to scare you into vaccination. There are plenty of anti-vaccine doctors out there but the mainstream media will not cover them and anyone who says vaccines are dangerous is viciously attacked by others which discourages people from speaking out. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny is the first name that pops into mind when it comes to doctors that educate others on the dangers of vaccines. Google her name.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      Dr. Sherri Tenpenny. Smartest person on the planet. She is so smart she knows that vaccines cause autism. Nobody else on the planet knows what causes autism. Study after study prove that vaccines DON'T cause autism. The ONE AND ONLY study showing it did... a bunch of lies. Proven lies. Retracted lies. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny has ... oh wait, no, she has NOT done any studies on it.

      But, she knows. She just magically knows using her crystal ball that vaccines are bad.

      She is so smart.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • Felicia Dube (Carter's Mom)

      NO VACCINES FOR ME: Carter wasn't old enough to have any vaccines, babies don't get their first vaccine until they are 8 weeks old. We buried Carter at 7.5 weeks old, just a week before his appointment to get his vaccine. We were all treated for Pertussis when the diagnosed Carter with it but at that point he already had it and it didn't matter. My 10 yr old is completly vaccinated so it is unlikely that he passed it on to Carter. My husband and I had not had our shots since we were children, around 5 yrs ago they developed a Tdap vaccine for adults and it is not suggested that parents and people that will be around a newborn have this booster. My family has hard theirs, as were are expecting another child in the spring.

      So NO Carter didn't get the vaccine from another vaccine, there are not different strains of Pertussis that makes one case less than the other.

      Please take the time to do the research and see how Pertussis is spread before you speculate about what "form" he had and if we were tested.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      Felicia, thank you for helping to bring awareness to this issue. Stupid people are going to be stupid. Please ignore them. It sounds like you were an excellent mother to Carter for the short time he was with you, and it makes me angry and sad that some people on here are implying that you did something wrong. You absolutely did not. They're only saying these things because they want to believe that this horrible tragedy could never happen to them, that somehow you MUST have done something wrong, made stupid decisions, and brought this upon yourself. It's just not true.

      People, PLEASE think before you post on such an emotional issue, especially in light of the fact that there are real people reading who have been deeply affected by this baby's death.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Please advise us where your children go to school. I'll be sure to keep my kids away from your kids.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:20 | Report abuse |

    You must have nothing better to do in your life than worry about this. Maybe you should spend your time on other things.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. daina

    Hard to take anyone seriously when they come up with vague 'vaccines are neurotoxic' statements...which vaccines? Which neurological illnesses resultant from them? The only neurological illness which has any vaccine correlation is Guillain Barre. The 'Autism' link is nonsense.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Very Sad

    How very brave and giving for this family to share their heart-breaking story. I am so sorry for their loss.

    I'm glad vaccines are optional. People should be able to choose based on their beliefs. I know, those who don't vaccinate keep the viruses circulating in the population, but I think the freedom to self-select out of the human race is important.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Angelina

      Felicia, My heart goes out to you. having suffered the loss of a baby, it is an unimaginable loss. God bless you and your husband, son and extended family. I wish that I could hug you and share with you my journey also. Again, God bless you and yours!

      October 22, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse |
  39. Penny

    The first way to protect your children is to vaccinate yourself. Get your own vaccinations up to date and vaccinate your children on schedule.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Courtney

    Precious little Angel. My condolences and heart go out to this family.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. DM

    To Felicia Dube-You have my condolences! My heart aches for you and your family. It's a shame that you had to come on here, and defend yourself against total strangers. You and your family, are in my prayers.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Joe

    i can tell you the ass pain and the thousands of dollars i had to pay out of my pocket to get my wife to the states.... x rays, blood work... and so on....
    and they are saying that CA has the highest rate of it.... ya think?? ya think that maybe.. just maybe people bring it here with them that should not be here???????????? people that did not get the chest x rays.. people that did not get blood test??????????? call me crazy...

    October 22, 2010 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Melvin

    One more thing, the vaccine also kills the viruses that cause the disease.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guy

      Melvin the vaccine does not kill the virus. If you've contracted the virus, it's too late. The vaccine gives your immune system the ability to fight off the virus if received preferably at least two weeks prior to exposure.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • sickofmedialies

      Wow most these people pushing vaccines don't know whats in them, don't know that they are not 100 percent effective, don't know the risks, and don't even know how the vaccines work. Jeez get educated before you start pushing your uneducated views.

      Vaccines are neurotoxins FACT they have things that are sterilizing agents in them (tween80)FACT Those two things alone should give anyone with an IQ greater then 100 pause.

      Vaccines DO NOT KILL the virus, they don't even protect you from GETTING the virus all they do is jack with your immune system and lessen the symptoms. If you are exposed to the virus you still GET IT you just don't show symptoms if the vaccine was effective. Theoretically the vaccine is suppose to allow your immune system to recognize the proteins of the illness you were vaccinated against, and then the antiboties your body was suppose to make are sent out to take care of the virus particles.

      With this theory its no wonder allergies are on the rise and antibiotics don't work as well as they did. All sorts of stuff is injected along with the virus proteins.

      October 23, 2010 at 00:53 | Report abuse |
  44. Huh?

    Valerie, did you read the story? The baby WAS kept at home. It said he had to have gotten the disease from his parents, his 10-year-old sibling or his pediatrician. In his case, cocooning should have worked if everyone had had their vaccinations.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Valerie

    Sure is nice to project the hatred you have for yourself on other people, isn't it? You can't be for vaccination and yet wish someone would die. The two things (love and hatred for humanity) contradict one another in a big way.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Larry

      How about a nice cup of STFU? Every time you post, you reinforce the view that you're a clueless wacko. STFU already.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • Enough already

      Seriously, Valerie. Just stop. You are not an expert and you have already insulted Carter's Mom by calling her family a fabrication. Leave it alone. You're not going to change anyone's mind, and you don't have to have the last word.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      She can't stop. She is unable to control her need to bully others and to spread her "gospel" that vaccines aren't "proven to work". She's a dolt.

      October 22, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
  46. Matthew

    candidate who doesn't believe in evolution = subject of ridicule, idiot
    mothers who attended the Jenny McCarthy school of medicine = evolved, smart

    Who's the real idiot?

    October 22, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. whatnext

    George, Valerie isn't anti-vaccine. The kid in the article was 5 weeks old, too young to be vaccinated. Do you think it should have been vaccinated as a fetus?

    October 22, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Concerned Mommy

    Valerie.... you're going to be taking your new baby to the pediatrician immediately within the first few days of your newborn's life. That's exactly when you could be picking up all sorts of germs. What you're about to go through is exactly what all us new moms have already done. The point is, recent misinformation has circulated throughout the media that has caused many parents to not vaccinate themselves and their babies/children when THEY SHOULD BE GETTING THOSE VACCINATIONS!!! Just ask for the preservative (thimerosal) free version for your children. Problem solved!

    October 22, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. lovepeace

    I can understand your anger but no need to wish bad for anyone.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Larry

    Valerie, you're an idiot. It's because of people like you that diseases commonly thought to be eradicated – whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, etc. – are making a comeback. It has been scientifically proven that vaccines and autism are NOT linked, yet you keep your pointy little head in the sand, probably staring at a flat earth map.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guy

      You're right I still regularly hear people talk about vaccines causing autism or this or that. But the ONE study that showed it did was proven wrong dozens of times and the doctor who lead the study originally has since been stripped of his license.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Larry, my children have been vaccinated.

      Guy, you read articles about one discredited study and that is it for you, you now have all the answers. Good for you.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
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