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. Christine

    I think it shows how IMMATURE she is.. I mean "I hope she dies?????" really?? What kind of dumb remark is that..

    October 22, 2010 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. JahLife

    When governmental policies require vaccinations before children enter schools coercion has overruled the lack of evidence of vaccine efficacy and safety. There is no proof that vaccines work and they are never studied for safety before release. My opinion is that there is overwhelming evidence that vaccines are dangerous and the only reason for their existence is to increase profits of pharmaceutical firms. What a shame...

    October 22, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ACinRC

      No proof that they work? Have you ever heard of smallpox or polio? Smallpox was eradicated and polio greatly decimated by aggressive vaccination programs. Many other vaccines have given similar results against transmissible diseases; that is until people started being cavalier or uninformed and receiving their vaccines improperly or not at all. Ah, what short memories we have. Please think rationally before you post.

      October 23, 2010 at 06:55 | Report abuse |
  3. ohgosh

    RIP baby Carter. Your's is a life that will be forever treasured and never forgotten. Mr. and Mrs. Dube, please accept my deepest condolences. I cannot imagine the pain that you have endured. Babies are precious and each one a gift. Good luck in your future and reach out to family and others when you need help.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fam1130

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Felicia Dube

      October 23, 2010 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  4. DM

    Valerie-What in the heck is your problem? This woman just lost her baby and you still think that CNN is using her story for their own benefit? Have you no heart? You tell the woman you are sorry, then turn it all around on yourself, hoping her story won't be your story. That is REALLY COLD!!!! This article is NOT ABOUT YOU!!!!

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

      DM, it seems to be all about you and your opinion about what I should or shouldn't believe. The internet is still free as far as I am aware. I am sorry to see her lose her child to this, and I am sorry to see CNN using it to promote their one sided agenda. The only conclusion to be drawn from this article is that more people should be vaccinated. That is fine, but it's not going to save any babies since getting the vaccine doesn't guarantee that you're not still a carrier who can transfer it on and on until it reaches a baby. Hence, sad story with no real solution.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Carter's Mom

      Valerie you have no reason to attack someone else for their beliefs when you started passing judgement and making your assumptions from the get go. You don't know if more babies will be saved by parents getting the Tdap vaccine but wouldn't you rather get it and know you have protected your newborn or the children of friends than take the risk not to have it. Your opinions are not consistant, one post you are sympathizing with me and in another you are slammng CNN for exploiting my family. Pick a side and an opinion...please. An too you Carter is just a sad story with no solution but I have received emails from people that have gotten the vaccine and possible protected others. Carter had a purpose from the day his was born, he has changed many lives in his short 7.5 weeks on this earth.

      October 23, 2010 at 00:50 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Felicia, I am sorry that you cannot see the duality. Carter can have a purpose after his death and CNN can be using your story for their own reasons. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      October 23, 2010 at 07:00 | Report abuse |
  5. JahLife

    Vaccines contain many toxic substances that are needed to prevent the vaccines from becoming infected or to improve the performance of the vaccine. Among these substances are mercury, formaldehyde and aluminum. So why would people put thse poisons in their bodies, you knows why because these doctors actually think they work....What a shame..........

    October 22, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      Given the huge decrease in polio, eradication of smallpox (except for that kept in bio labs), and the dramatic drop in measles, mumps, etc, due TO vaccines being administered, your statement holds no validity whatsoever. Vaccines DO work. Do a little research on the percentage of the US population infected with polio, smallpox, etc, before vaccine introduction, compared to today. Those numbers don't lie.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • guest

      you're an idiot

      October 22, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
    • sickofmedialies

      The polio vaccine CAUSED polio let me say it again it CAUSED polio and it introduced SV40 a cancer producing virus into humans, from infected monkeys. Please people stop spouting off stuff you don't know anything about. Over 90 percent of people exposed to polio will never show any symptoms 3 percent or so will get something like cold/flu symptoms. So your chances even with NEVER having a polio vaccine of becoming paralyzed is almost non existant.

      October 23, 2010 at 01:03 | Report abuse |
    • ACinRC

      sickofmedialities, exactly where did you get your microbiology degree? Try telling this to anyone who survived the polio epidemic of the 1950s. Salk's vaccine SAVED countless lives. Your ramblings don't hold water.

      October 23, 2010 at 07:01 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      "Lisa", seeing as how the injectable polio and pertussis vaccines don't prevent transmission, and oral polio, MMR, and chickenpox shots are live virus vaccines that can shed, would you care to extrapolate on your claims?

      October 25, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
  6. Mary Ann

    Right Katie – go pump poison into my body on the off chance that I might encounter your child – I never asked that of anyone who was arround my children....

    October 22, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rick

    I once had whooping cough. You feel like one of your lungs is gonna pop out of your mouth. I actually broke a rib coughing, and felt miserable for weeks after I got better.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Michelle

    I watched the video on youtube about Carter. He had the cutest baby face. I can't imagine his mother's pain. She is saying adults should get boosters to avoid unknowingly spreading it to young ones. I think it is an excellent idea. If there is going to be a baby born into my family I am going to inquire at my Dr.s office about getting this. I hope everyone else will too.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. lilsfgal

    I was vaccinated but still got Whooping Cough at 13. Iit was horrible. I coughed violently for months and doctors could not figure out what was wrong. Got to the point I was vomiting from the violent coughing and lost several pounds (I was already skinny). Finally had a fit during an office visit and the doctor spotted it as whooping cough right away and put me on antibiotics (didn't even bother with lab tests). It got better but I still occasionally had coughing fits into my 20s. The thought of this disease ravaging a baby sounds terrifying.

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

    I just have to add this. Valerie says that she's not leaving her house for 2 months. Well, guess what Valerie, that is really unrealistic. Once a baby leaves the mothers womb and is delivered, he/she is has ALREADY been exposed to whatever germs may lie in the delivery room.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      Another thing for Valerie to consider–is she not going to go to the grocery store? Having to stockpile 2+ months of food so one doesn't leave the house? How about not touching any mail delivered for 2 months, considering someone might have coughed or sneezed on it. Good luck with that endeavor.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  11. I'm scared of Valerie

    Why is Valerie so convinced that this story has to have some conspiracy behind it?? She sounds insane to me and I'm glad she is in another state.

    I would also like to say BRAVO to Felicia Dube for posting a reponse. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Teacher

    We're currently waiting on the results of my 5.5 year old son's pertussis test. He has a terrible cough. I'm keeping home home with me until we can confirm what's causing it...and he's had all of his pertussis shots (we're VERY pro-vaccine). I'm a teacher and I HATE sick kids. I can't tell you the number of people who send their kids to school sick! That's probalby where my son picked up whatever he has (his best friend in the class has a brother at home with pertussis and a sister at home with croup.) Pertussis is becoming a HUGE issue and parents need to be responsible about it. Oh, and don't get me started about the dr. office...yesterday we were sitting in the "sick" waiting room and there was only 1 other person in there...yet there were coughs/sneezes/etc that we could hear coming from the "well" waiting room which was jam packed! Only an irresponsible parent would have their sick kid in a "well" waiting room!

    Unfortunately for this poor family, there's probably NOTHING they could have done to prevent this. I can't imagine how that mother feels! My thoughts go out to her and her family!!!

    October 22, 2010 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      Regarding people sending their kids to school sick – I know what your are talking about, except with me it is people coming to work sick. I actually work at a hospital, and the sick time policy is so strict, no one dares call in sick. I've seen employees with broken limbs schlepping around with casts and crutches, employees with laryngitis so bad they have to write notes to communicate with others, employees so obviously sick other people avoid them. Yet still they would prefer to suffer through than face the dread of calling out of work. Ironic, isn't it?

      October 22, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse |

    I sense budget cut looming so CDC or local health department start telling everyone this is an epedemic...just bunch of lied.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 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 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Anon CA

    Were all the babies treated at Kaiser?

    I went to a Kaiser doctor yesterdy with 102 fever and severe cough. Since the X ray came back normal, she prescribed me cough tablets and tylenol. She wants to wait , if I will get better (or die) in two days to prescribe me antibiotics. I cannot either sleep either eat since Tuesday , the cough is so deep i just cannot stop when it starts, I also have white tounge, very sore troat, nasal congestion and muscle pain with headaches. And the viral test came back negative. I am Europian, and for first time inmy life I see a doctor besides to give you PROPER treatment to decide to wait, if you are improving or not! It is cynical to me. BRAVO KAISER!

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

      I find your comment irresponsible. Do not criticize a particular health provider just because you were not happy with their particular assessment of your condition. By doing so, you create unnecessary fear among potential patients seeking care. Having Kaiser as a provider, I can confirm they know how to recognize whooping cough and differentiate it from the other respiratory illnesses. Whooping cough is very distinctive and scary. My partially vaccinated 3 year old had it (you are not fully covered until you finish the boosters) and it took about 3 minutes for the doctors to realize what it was and get him x-rays to check for pneumonia and hooked up to IV antibiotics. And oh yes, where did he get it? From the childcare at our church where I know there are a lot of families, like some of the ones on here, who have refused to vaccinate their children and thus spread it through the community. While, I don't agree with the US vaccination schedule (my son was born in Europe and had a more spread out schedule), I am firm believer in vaccines because I have seen the effects of these diseases: a) a deaf cousin whose mother contracted rubella while pregnant, b) a young girl who contracted polio on a cruise ship and now drags the left side of her body, c) an aunt who has been 'slow' since contracting polio and the measles, d) disfiguring scars on older relatives from small pox, e) and oh yes, I used to travel a lot to developing countries where the effects were extremely common and heart wrenching.... What I am trying to say is: just because we don't see the effects of these disease daily does not mean these diseases are extinct and I find it extremely frustrating that a lot of parents (who are against vaccines or who want a very delayed schedule) I speak to are not aware that these diseases still exist (my sister-in-law for example didn't realize whooping cough still existed until I pointed out an outbreak at college near where she lives-yet she has a MS and her husband works for a pharmaceutical)...and before anyone questions my 'blind' trust, both my child and I have had reactions to vaccines...and I am very cautious of the ones he gets as he has a lot of allergies and some of the vaccines contain ingredients which he is allergic to...but it doesn't mean I skip vaccinations because I know the benefits outweigh the risks of these diseases.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • guest

      another idot. viruses do not respond to antibiotics. cold and flu viruses are not serious enough to warrant anitvirals, which are somewhat toxic but necesary with very life threatening viral illnesses. The vast majority of common viral infections in otherwise healthy individuals are treated with supportive therapies – rest, fluids, tylenol, antihistamines, etc.

      also, for you other numbnuts out there – vaccines are created to immunize against both viruses and bacteria. Whooping cough is caused by a bacteria called Bordetella pertussis

      October 22, 2010 at 19:10 | Report abuse |
    • ACinRC

      AnonCA, I would call your treatment very sound. Taking antibiotics when they are not warranted can lead to a host of greater problems, not the least of which is multiple drug resistant strains of pathogens. You may have felt inconvenienced by your doctor's refusal to administer an antibiotic, but that is nothing compared to the inconvenience you would feel if you had a bacterial infection in the future against which no known antibiotic would be effective.

      October 23, 2010 at 07:11 | Report abuse |
  16. T

    Valerie: Your comment is passive aggressive. We all can figure out the underlying message you are trying to convey. I am glad CNN does these types of stories. It keeps parents informed. It's a reality that this happens and all should know about the disease. Vaccination is the way to prevent it.

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

    There is a concept called the protection of the herd. When enough people in the population refuse vaccination, there is not enough protection to prevent an older person without the vaccine from passing it to the most vulnerable. People who refuse vaccines think they are acting in their own best interest, but in reality it is endangering the entire population. There are pockets of the country where vaccination rates are below 80%, and outbreaks of preventable diseases have broken out. Smallpox: GONE Polio: GONE. Vaccines work, and the science that was thought to establish a link between them and autism spectrum disorders has been retracted by The Lancet.

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

    In addition: WhatNext made a silly comment. The vaccination is recommended for all those who are closest to the infant....a person who can't be vaccinated against this deadly disease until older. So, it is the responsiblity of all those around the baby, caring for the baby, to protect the baby. I rec'd my vax a day or two after giving birth. Glad I did.

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

    Perhaps they need to push the vaccines more for adults. My doctor has never mentioned getting a booster of this vaccine although I do get the pneumonia shot (every 5 years), and flu shot every year... No one has ever mentioned the need for a booster or I would've gotten it. I do not have children, but, I will ask, next time I see him....

    October 22, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jennifer

    Rather than believe that this story is a "plant", I think that Valerie is because NO ONE can be that stupid.

    Here is one of her responses: "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."

    I don't even know where to begin responding to this idiot, so I'll start with one of the more obvious: false logic. So Valerie, if you see a picture of me in my Texas A&M t-shirt or Denver Broncos sweatshirt while I was living in Germany or New Mexico or traveling anywhere? Because why? People live their entire lives in the same place and couldn't possibly ever root for any team from anyplace else? Or maybe these people have MOVED? Whoo, there's a concept. Or maybe their uncle owns the damn team for all you know. In other words, that's one of the dumbest observations I've ever heard.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Felicia Dube (Carter's Mom)

    Colin: First of all don't compare my child to a FISH !! I understand that it is a part of life but it was a life taken too soon. That is why we are taking a stand with TheSoundsofPertussis.com and Jeff Gordon.

    It may not be sad to you that "this child", who by the way has a name died, but it is sad to myself (his mother), his dad, his older brother and all of our families that never got a chance to meet Carter.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LKB

      Dear Felicia,
      I'm so sorry you are having to read some of the idiotic posts here. Your story is valuable and your son is a loss to this world. I'm heartbroken for you and your family and hope that spreading the word and potentially saving other lives will bring some measure of comfort in this unbearable time.

      October 22, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • sickofmedialies

      I'm equally hopeful that parents read the comments and do a bit of real research before going down and signing their kids up for toxins, I'm also hopeful that this story doesn't cause 1000s of cases of SIDs and neurological issues for the ones that don't do the research.

      October 23, 2010 at 00:11 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Sickofmedialies, the only one telling lies here is you. There is NO evidence that vaccines cause SIDS, you idiot, and you are irresponsible for even posting such nonsense. Furthermore, there are no toxins in vaccines at any level that is harmful-stop your hysterical blubbering. You are an ignoramus.

      October 23, 2010 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • DaveInWa

      @sickofmedialies you are a nuts, I bet you live in a shack in the woods and have guns and explosives. why are you on the internet, why CNN, why read the news if it is a bunch of lies. please stop posting your useless unfounded comments

      October 23, 2010 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
  22. Bryan

    Perhaps you didn't read closely enough. It appears that one of her other children at home or perhaps one of the parents brought it home. Stuff like this is making a comeback because of parents refusing vaccines and depending on others (herd immunity) to protect them. It's irresponsible.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carter's Mom

      Maybe you should read the story again ! We did not know about the vaccine, it wasn't that we refused the shot !! Really ? Do parents really refuse vaccinations that can protect their own child.

      October 23, 2010 at 00:27 | Report abuse |
    • DM

      @Felicia-To answer your question about parents that refuse vaccines that could help protect their children....Yes! It's unforunate. I have a friend, (haven't seen in over a year) that decided NOT to vaccinate her to children, to my knowledge, both under the age of 5. She had heard stories about vaccinations causing autism. I told her that there's no proof of that. She also didn't have the varicella vaccine done, because the vaccine is made up of the cells from aborted babies. For anyone tells me that I'm full of it, do your research. It's true. If I had known at the time I have my two youngest vaccinated, I would have let them get the chicken pox. So, Felicia it's sad but true.

      October 23, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      DM, you're another idiot. There are no 'aborted babies' used to make ANY vaccine. What a nitwit. How do people like you manage to figure out where the "on" button is for your computer?

      It's just amazing that anyone could be so dumb.

      October 23, 2010 at 10:44 | Report abuse |
    • Crystal Palmer Bull

      yes there is .. you do your research esp before you post calling someone else an idiot.. you look foolish.. Not only is it true but it is way many people are able to op out for religious belief.. it’s called the internet.. dude .. use it..

      and the ones not grown on aborted fetal tissues are on animal tissues.. i don't think that makes me feel much better

      October 23, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • DM

      Eeyore-Before you start insulting me, do your research!!! I don't need to be called an idiot OR a nitiwt, because I'm neither!!! I know for a fact that this vaccine IS MADE from aborted babies!!!!

      Did you know?...
      ...that two recommended childhood vaccinations are made using aborted babies?
      by Dr. Thomas J. Eads, M.D.

      The following vaccination schedule is the current recommendation as of July 2004.
      What you may not know is that the MMR [Measles, Mumps, Rubella] Vaccine and the Varicella [chickenpox] vaccines are both propagated [grown] on tissue derived from aborted babies. The cells are called "human diploid cells" in the product description [pdf of MMR product description | pdf of Varicella product description]

      NOW, WHO'S THE IDIOT!!!???????

      Your a donkey's ass! No, I'm not an idiot. I'm a mother of 5 children, and the Varicella Vaccine IS MADE from aborted babies. http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/abortedtissue.htm.



      October 23, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • eeyore

      DM, you're simply wrong. Read what I posted previously. What part of this do you fail to comprehend. Oh, and I don't smoke pipes, but I'd sure love to have a toke of the stuff you're obviously ingesting, you dip.

      The rubella vaccine virus is cultured in human cell-line cultures, and some of these cell lines originated from aborted fetal tissue, obtained from legal abortions in the 1960's. No new fetal tissue is needed to produce cell lines to make these vaccines, now or in the future. Fetal tissue is not used to produce vaccines; cell lines generated from a single fetal tissue source are used; vaccine manufacturers obtain human cell lines from FDA-certified cell banks. After processing, very little, if any, of that tissue remains in the vaccine.

      October 23, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • DM

      @Eeyore-DM, you're another idiot. There are no 'aborted babies' used to make ANY vaccine. What a nitwit. How do people like you manage to figure out where the "on" button is for your computer?

      It's just amazing that anyone could be so dumb.

      And, I'd like to know how people like you, manage to start insulting people, BEFORE you do your research!!!! I guess you're a know it all aren't you!?

      October 23, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • notmyrealname

      No, it's not. The rubella vaccine virus is cultured in human cell-line cultures, and some of these cell lines originated from aborted fetal tissue, obtained from legal abortions in the 1960's. No new fetal tissue is needed to produce cell lines to make these vaccines, now or in the future. Fetal tissue is not used to produce vaccines; cell lines generated from a single fetal tissue source are used; vaccine manufacturers obtain human cell lines from FDA-certified cell banks. After processing, very little, if any, of that tissue remains in the vaccine.

      October 23, 2010 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • DM

      A friend of mine, who is a recent mother, decided NOT to vaccinate against varicella due to the human cell tissues that are used to produce the vaccine. That's why a lot of new moms don't get that vaccination, or one of the main reasons.

      October 23, 2010 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • eeyore

      Then they are dumber than a box of hair, because they haven't read the facts.

      October 23, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Tapati

      Unfortunately, yes they do refuse to vaccinate their kids.That's why we're having such a serious outbreak in California, because there are a lot of anti-vaccination parents here. I remember first reading about the anti-vaccination movement when my own children were babies and I read both sides and decided that the small chance of a bad vaccine reaction was less than the risk of getting the diseases. The reasons given change from decade to decade or even anti-vaccine person to person, from autism to bad reactions to "Big Pharma" is lying to make a lot of money (I think "Big Pharma makes more money off of sick people than well people vaccines, personally) and on and on. There's an increasing tendency not to trust the scientific method or the motives of those doing research. There is a lot of junk science out there too, that sounds quite reasonable to those who don't have a strong science background. Some students created a hoax to test that, giving water a new name and posting information about how dangerous this colorless, odorless substance was, listing actual things water can do–kill you if you ingest too much, etc., and a town tried to ban water under this new chemical name before they figured out what it was. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax

      So be prepared for a huge debate between anti-vaccine folks and pro-vaccine folks wherever your story is publicized. Brace yourself–it gets nasty.

      http://antiantivax.flurf.net/ has some good counter-arguments for those who don't believe anyone should ever be vaccinated.

      October 24, 2010 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
  23. Felicia Dube (Carter's Mom)


    Take time to educate yourself to the risk of Pertussis and listen to what it sounds like. Adults need there shots too !

    October 22, 2010 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fuyuko

      Thanks for taking the time to write this. I will certainly find out about getting the shot. It is very strange I have not heard about this before from my doctor. But I will find out. I am sorry for your loss.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      If this is truly Carter's mom, let me please say that I am so very sorry for your loss. It is a tragedy, and hopefully an eye opener for those who are undecided about vaccinations. At the end of the day, it is a mother's choice...but when there is more proof of the benefits of vaccinations than to the detriments, it is hard to understand why so many decide against it. I agree, vaccines for adults are a great idea as well. I'll see my doctor next Thursday and ask him about it. I think I may have already gotten it, but I want to make sure. *Virtual Hugs* for the loss of your beautiful, precious baby boy.

      October 22, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • margaret

      I did check out the web site and listened to the sounds of whooping cough. The memories, I still feel sick about it! My son caught whooping cough from the Doctors office from a child that had not been vaccinated. Went through 6 weeks of hell, because he was 2 years old, that helped him survive. My heart wants to wrap your family with loads of healing love. I am so sorry for your loss of beautiful Carter. From one Mother to another, from my heart to yours.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      God bless you my friend. May he comfort you during this horrible time in your life.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
    • Julie Norris

      Just so you know, the Felicia that is posting these comments is Carter's mom.

      October 22, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • correctusageofwords

      good grief, learn the correct usage of words, everyone!

      October 23, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
  24. Marian

    It's a shame you didn't clearly read the article THEY KEPT THEIR INFANT AT HOME. They were unable to travel due to weather. The infant had ONLY been to the doctor, and their home. No one else visited the home, which is why they know the infection HAD to come from the parents, the sibling, or the doctor's office.

    This is an entirely preventable illness, and it doesn't just kill infants. It also happens in predictable cycles (because the vaccinations wear off and people don't get boosters).

    But by all means, yammer on. /roll eyes.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Jessica

    Was the mother breastfeeding? She could have passed on her immunity to this through the breastmilk. We are seeing so many diseases more and more because people are scared to vaccinate. It is just stupid! My pediatrician says he tells any mom who does not want to vaccinate that he has a mother who sees him with 5 children, and they all have autism! It is genetic!!!!!

    October 22, 2010 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonegativity

      Or they all got vaccinated!

      October 22, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      What I have read indicates that there is little to no immunity against whooping cough passed through breast milk. So this is irrelevant. Can we PLEASE stop trying to criticize this poor mother's choices?

      October 22, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Jessica: our daughter was still in the hospital at two months, so we did not face this issue. But pretty much ALL doctors agree that you should wait until 2 months to give immunizations. So what sort of choice did this woman have - her baby contracted the disease before doctors were willing to immunize.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • Felicia Dube (Carter's Mom)

      Yes Carter was breatfeed but I was not offered the shot before I got pregnant or after. So therefore there was nothing to pass on. That is why I am speaking out about the need for parents to get the TDAP Booster.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
  26. Julie

    Kaiser, I may not agree with everything Valerie said, but your words are far too strong. She is absolutely entitled to her opinion, whether we agree with it or not. I've reported your post as abusive, because nobody deserves those words spoken to or about them. I hope others join me.

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

      I think it's gone now. I saw someone quoting kaiserouse, but I could not find the original quote. Maybe I should be glad.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
  27. ellen

    Valerie your a fool,what this should tell you is run don't walk to your nearest doctor and get your baby it's shots. Simple vaccine which I who work in a homeless shelter have got earlier this month may help save someone else from the heartbreak of this. People listening to you and Jenny Mc Carthy will end up killing your kids or have you ever stopped to think Autism is NOT from vaccines generations of kids have been spared and have been immunized. Find another thing to dis people and get your kids their shots!!!

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

    I will not be going to the pediatrician's office for a while after the baby is born, no matter when they tell me I should go. I stayed at home with my babies for six years without leaving the house much at all (I worked from home), so I think 2 months is easily doable.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. mplaya

    Valerie – you scare me. Did you listen to that recording of the cough? I have not read through all of the comments, but do you have kids?
    Some people don't realize what harm can be done to so many,and so young by not gettiing vaccinations – whether it be boosters for themselves or initial shots for thieir kids.
    Felicia – thoughts are with you for having to bear such a loss – it is one of my worst fears and I can't even imagine losing one of my kids......

    October 22, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      mplaya: Valerie DOES have kids, and they ARE immunized. Your assumptions about her appear inaccurate.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
  30. almas

    Valerie, babies who are under 8 weeks of age are considered protected in many ways by the transfer of antibiodies from their mothers. Vaccines are given early–at birth, actually, in the case of Hep B vaccines. Outside of that the earliest recommended age is 6 weeks which is when they get their first dose of pertussis in the form of DTAP (diptheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccine). Many life-threatening or life-altering diseases have been prevented by vaccines and the "neurotoxicity" of them is miniscule if even existent at all.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      Tell this to the parents of these 1 inn 99 children severely affected by vaccinations

      October 22, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
  31. Turner

    Okay, does anyone else get the feeling that Valerie is an uneducated fop spouting out every three-syllable word she ever heard in her Journalism 101 and Psychology 101 classes (which she passed before dropping out)? I mean: projection, bias, contradictions, propaganda. Puh-lease. What's next? Red Herring, Slippery Slope? Please feel free to point out my fallacies (I'll give you a hint: one may be "begging the question") and psychoanalyze me. I need a good laugh.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      Turner: having read her posts and the responses, I think she is not the dumb one. Posters attacked her for not getting her kids immunized. Except she wrote that she did. But they continued to do so. Those are the morons - they saw a few words of her post, jumped to erroneous conclusions, then continued to attack in spite of evidence to the contrary.

      Clearly, the people who jumped the gun first (assuming she was anti-vaccine) were biased (or prejudiced, if you prefer) - since they were judging her erroneously based on a few words. The fact that she considers this a propaganda piece does not negate the bizarre and mean-spirited attacks against her, nor does it explain them. The only real explanation I can come up with is that most posters are morons with anger issues.

      I agree with Valerie that this is a propaganda piece. It is not news. Its purpose is to encourage readers to do a certain action, rather than inform. The fact that I agree with that message does not negate her argument.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
  32. las730

    Maybe, but this child was too young for the shot

    October 22, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Dianna

    What a heartbreakingly sad story.
    I am 43 and was diagnosed with Whooping Cough a year ago, the worst 6 weeks of my life! I can't imagine an infant getting this disease and not being hospitalized or ending up like Carter. The inability to sleep, breathe or walk more than 10 feet without stopping to catch my breath, not to mention the pain in my lungs, sides and back from the coughing was incredible. I had no idea that adults should get a booster for pertussis. I will never be without this vaccination again! My doctor explained that the pertussis booster is given with a type of tetanus shot, please please get your booster shot – save yourself the pain, loss of time and expense (this cost me about $4000)!

    October 22, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jm

    The only person that should be giving vaccine advice is a qualified medical doctor.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Megan

    Everyone please just have some common sense and realize this woman just lost her child due to an illness that possibly could have been prevented by a vaccination but the only person who knows that is GOD himself. If you want to be vaccinated or are unclear of the decision to do so look up the matter google it whatever... But in Carter Dube's name stop caring on with the disrespectful conversation revolving from his story.

    Everyone has their own oppinions remember that and its probably best to keep it to yourselves.

    *RIP Baby Carter*
    May God be with the Dube family-you are a very strong woman Felicia

    October 22, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      Megan: to be correct, it could not have been prevented by immunization. The baby was too young to qualify for immunizations. No doctor who wished to keep his/her license would have given immunizations before 8 weeks.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
  36. cheryl

    Valerie...bad mouthing a news story doesn't change the facts and figures. Vaccinate your children. It's what intelligent people do to save their lives. Yes..there may be small numbers of children that react poorly to some vaccines...and some kids may even die. But the sheer Numbers of children whose lives have been saved FAR outweigh the numers of kids that were reactive or died. God gave humans the gift of medicine and the intelligence to create vaccines that WORK and DO SAVE LIVES. So please keep your badmouthing to yourself..and if you want to put your children at risk I feel very sorry for them. Hopefully they will survive their childhood. The numbers speak for themselves...Millions upon Millions of happy healthy children are alive today because their parents cared enough to vaccinate them.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. StacyA

    Rest in peace sweet baby Carter. And to the parents, I don't know you, but don't blame yourselves. I am truly sorry for your loss, he is a beautiful Angel.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Genevieve

    Are you serious?? Pertussis is not a common disease, and it is easily prevented through vaccination. My guess is that you are a member of the anti-science conspiracy-theorist wing which thinks that vaccinations are somehow harmful, in DIRECT contravention of the truth. This article is extremely helpful to those of us who have not had pertussis boosters and now will. I cry for the family, but I applaud their courage in making this public.

    October 22, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Edwin


    When we brought our preemie daughter home from the hospital, the doctors advised us to avoid contact with the outside world as much as possible. My wife lost her job due to the early delivery (long story), so she stayed home while I worked. Obviously, I could have carried illness, but we did everything we could to minimize external contact.

    This is clearly not possible with everyone, but it can work very well. After a three month hospital stay, my daughter needed no medicines of any kind until she was 19 months old.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. DM

    Valerie-Did it every occur to you, that your baby can also get sick whether OR he or she is inside or outside!? Germs are EVERYWHERE!!! You are not being realistic. I have 5 children, and I thank God every day that they are all healthy. You can't avoid germs no matter where you go. I'm rather curious to know how your husband feels about you putting your baby in to a "bubble" for two months.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      DM: yes, risks exist everywhere. But that does not mean we should not try to minimize them. Let me extend your particular argument: accidents can occur anywhere, to anyone. So we should not worry if our toddlers cross streets without someone else around. After all, they could get injured INSIDE the house - why restrict their access to streets?

      See? When put another way, your argument sounds really dumb.

      Basically, we take precautions when the level of risk is sufficiently high to warrant the particular precaution. We put seat belts on while in a car, not because we expect to have an accident, but because it is a minimal action and could prevent something very bad. Likewise, Valerie advocates what our daughter's pediatrician advocated: an action that could prevent something very bad. It is not foolproof, and it is not always possible for every family. But for those that can, it is a good choice.

      October 22, 2010 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
  41. patty

    Every person who has chosen not to vaccinate their children for completely irrational reasons (called illusory correlations–look it up) is personally responsible for this baby's death and all other americans baby's who have died. Not this family

    October 22, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. GoVal

    GO VALERIE. Good for you on standing your ground. Shame on those who try to put words in your mouth. Each parent should raise their child in the manner they deem the best; whether that's the full vac schedule, alternative schedule, or pick and choose certain vaccines. I'm not going to tell someone how to raise their children, and I don't expect anyone else to tell me what to do either. (BTW, my children are fully vaccinated)
    I agree with Furyuko, they do need to push the vaccines more for adults. Before I ever got pregnant, I went to my doctors (both family and ob/gyn) to receive a clean bill of health before trying to get pregnant, and neither doc mentioned I needed to get boosters. And, I was very specific and upfront with them about why I was there, but, yet, no word at all about getting a booster....

    October 22, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. ieat

    did they say anywhere if the mom was breastfeeding? Because if the mom were breastfeeding and IF she were indeed the one sick with it and gave it to the child, the child should get a lot of the immune system from the mom, including whopping cough antibody if the mom was fighting it as well. It would be important to know if that extra boost from the mom through breastmilk made a diff or not.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. GoVal


    you are an idiot. there can be and sometimes are very rational reasons for not vaccinating an infant.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • patty

      Idiot? I guess they let just anyone be a professor these days. In any event, these folks could not vaccinate their baby yet for good reason (wanting to let people know that they need reimmunization!) and the bravely reported the loss of theirs so some other family doesn't go thru the same horrible, horrible situation. That said, the "idiots" if you would like to call them that are those parents who choose not to vaccinate their children according to AMA guidelines. I personally hold them responsible for this child's death. They should learn the construct of illusory correlation. I have colleagues who have, with solid science, shown there is NO connection between immunization and autism. They go together in time simply because the disorder occurs at that time. These scientists work very hard to find out the true causes of this illness.

      Name callers, actually, are usually the ones who are idiots... IMHO, not smart enough to know how to express themselves properly and too mean to care.

      October 22, 2010 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Patty, Professor just means that you went to school long enough to get a PHD, and then found a job. Good for you. But as a professor who should have to constantly publish, you should know how to research. For starters, why don't you research how the AMA has become corrupted over time, and how their recommendations aren't always in our best interest as a society?

      October 22, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  45. Katherine

    Colin, go troll some Justin Bieber forums instead. They're not going to troll themselves, you know.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Tom

    The probability of a child being sickened by a vaccine is significantly less than a child becoming ill due to exposure to diseases that have a vaccine. I will roll the dice in favor of vaccines.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Lori

    Figure this one out-my son WAS vaccinated when he was supposed to be and still contracted whooping cough when he was 2 years old. He survived it Thank God. My condolences to this family. You can't always stop germs and viruses.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • shi

      Another fact about vaccines you may not know (seems like that from your comment). They may not prevent the illness completely but greatly lessen it's effect. I have experienced flu both with and without vaccination and I coped so much better when I had the vaccination. Lessened effect can indeed save a life. True we can't avoid illnesses but providing our body supplemental defense can help.

      October 22, 2010 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
  48. mark

    Colin, you are a first class D-BAG !!! To the Dube family please ignore him, he is an idiot. My heart goes out to you and your family

    October 22, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Oleg

    Yeah lets panic and stop living our normal lives every time someone dies in a freak case. Our purpose on Earth is to exist for the longest chronological time possible rather than enjoy ourselves or do meaningful things!

    October 22, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. jo

    To the Dubes ...

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story.

    October 22, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
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