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. The Hard Truth

    Bravo to Jenny McCarthy and all the morons that listened to her...darwinism at its best.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. CBP

    The families that have had to deal with pertussis have our strongest support and deepest sympathy. Everyone needs to read this article. Pertussis is a horrible disease. It does weaken the whole body because of the cough which is hard to control.

    This article is so important and I hope people read it. The politicians need to know that health, a roof over your head, food to eat, and some sort of meaningful job to provide for oneself or the family. The Healthcare bill does address care for children. Please remind everyone about that portion of the healthcare bill so all children are vaccinated to prevent children from getting this horrible disease.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sami

    Such a heartbreaking story!

    October 23, 2010 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Just a thought

    For everyone who has posted one way or another in regards to toxins in vacines. Consider this, if you have ever had a drink(alcohol) or coffee(caffiene) or smoked (cigs, or other things...), or quite simply walked behind a car while it was running have ingested toxins. They are everywhere. Face it life is not perfect and never will be, but to not vaccinate based on an unsientific thought process is just ignorant. I realize that there are risks in everything that we do and will take my chances and keep up with booster shots as well as having my children vaccinated.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. nono

    Years ago when I was in college there was one of the first outbreaks of pertussis since it was almost eradicated. Almost all of my friends and my roommate who slept right beside me got it. I didn't but we were quarantined and given antibiotics, but it was much too late as testing didn't happen until a month or two b/c the docs could not believe a bunch of 17 and 18 years olds were coming down with "the whoop" as we all called it. I credit my vaccination and my very good immune system as I hardly ever get sick, although I don't remember getting a booster for it before college. Maybe my immunity had not wore off yet but my friends did, who knows? What I do know is that it is such a violent illness. Everyday I was surrounded by my friends who would literally cough for minutes until they vomited. These coughing spells would not end and it sounded like they would suffocate. They couldn't laugh or emote as anything would trigger the hacking cough and vomiting. Even after they took antibiotics the cough lasted for months since toxins remain in the bloodstream. My friend said "I can't remember what it was like not to cough and I can't imagine it will ever go away." I would estimate it was a 6 month ordeal for most of my friends to get back to health. I cannot imagine what it would do to the fragile little body of an infant.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jbcraigs

    God created us. And God created the viruses and bacteria.
    What makes you think our petty vaccines can save the kids if God wants to kill them??

    Above was just sarcasm. Seriously ppl, pull your heads out of sand and get your kids vaccinated.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Firoozeh Papan-Matin

    It is not right to have the picture of this child displayed for the world to see. The news produces enough devastation.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. philthetruth

    As usual, conditioning news network has missed the story. The article mentions CA which is where the real story is: how would 10 infants in the same state die of a largely eradicated disease in this country? Just because they are too young to be vaccinated? Hmmm. The answer partly lies in how many people are posting on this site. YOU HAVE GOT TO GET YOUR INFORMATION FROM OTHER SOURCES IF YOU EVER EXPECT TO GET THE TRUTH. That is, unless you want to be lied to so you can still get your gov't check. Again, how could a disease that has largely been eradicated in this country MAKE ITS WAY BACK INTO this country, ESPECIALLY IN CALIFORNIA? If you continue to accept the lies, our republic will perish...

    October 23, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Katrinanyc

    My condolences to Carter's parents. I do have a few questions for them: The parents likely had DTP and their children DTaP (acellular) vaccines; since immunity wears off with these vaccines, did they feel any symptoms of pertussis when Carter fell ill? The article pinpoints the parents or the pediatrician's office, and glosses over this fact of parental symptoms. Any feelings like even a slight cold? Also, was Carter breastfed at all? If the mother felt no signs of illness, perhaps she had some immunity that she could have passed on to her newborn (but alas, we will never know). Have the parents considered suing the doctors who took so long to properly diagnose the condition? Has ECMO been used in children with pertussis with any efficacy? What were the risks of using ECMO? So many questions, and none having to do with Carter not being vaccinated. He was simply too young for the pertussis vaccine schedule.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. philthetruth

    Classic, re my last post. People on this site think the story is about post natal care and vaccine toxicity! Really? And is it such a big leap, seeing this kind of thought process, to see why we have a marxist, kenyan president?

    October 23, 2010 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. PlanetX

    Realistic it is the foreigner's They come to America never being vaccinated That why these type of diseases are making a come back common sense folks

    October 23, 2010 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. AbbieR

    I haven't taken the time to reaad every single comment, but there seem to be some who think that vaccines are evil and shouldn't ever be used on children or possibly even adults. Well, I am a polio survivor who now manifests Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS). My four sisters and I had the virus the year before the first polio vaccines were released. My uncle died from polio and my mother couldn't attend his funeral because she had five sick daughters. For years, one of my sisters was in and out of rehabilitation centers. We all have residual effects and some atrophy of our muscles; I may be using a respirator someday to breathe. In addition, we all had mumps, measles, chicken pox, and scarlet fever. Folks, get your kids vaccinated. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you cherish your children, vaccinate them and do not let these diseases make the comeback that whooping cough is making. If you think vaccines are bad, just give yourself an opportunity to witness up close the horrors of these illnesses...you will change your mind.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ShingoEX

    Mother nature has to try and kill us off somehow. Before anyone starts crying over my comment, you need to realize that this is part of the natural order of things. Overpopulation requires disease.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jeanne

    Thank you Julie! Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are irresponsible and should be thrown in jail or reported to the health board as a threat to public health. The greatest thing to prevent childhood diseases are vaccines. Just go talk to your grandparents and ask them what is was like when polio broke out in their communities. Sadly vaccines do hurt a small fraction of the people immunized, but the benefits far out weigh the negatives. And for the love of god, vaccines DO NOT cause autisim.

    October 23, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    What fools you all are...this will be proven one day, and then you can all sit back a eat your words. Big pharma is pumping everyone with so much crap, its unreal. I have seen over and over the problems with these vac's its so overwhelmingly obvious...look at the older folks..no EVERONE has Alziemers (sp)??? yea right, but they have been given those yearly flu shots right...lol...oh, how about all you women that are on Birth control , HRt...hummmm any signs of breast, ovarian, cervical cancer...??? You just don't see the obvious do you??? Listen to all the commercials for pharma on tv, and what do they say at the end???LOL...and one more thing...YES, THE ILLEGAL SITUATION IN THIS COUNTRY HAS BROUGHT BACK many of the diseases that were long gone...and you can't see this??? LOL how stupid can you be???!!!

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

      Jeanne, You Should be thrown in jail you quack, you want to risk your kids health with the vaccines thats your choice.Tthe chance of dying from these diseases right now in the U.S. is lower than getting a side effect or allergic reaction from the vaccine look it up . The more you know you unedjucated goof.

      October 23, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
  15. Wow

    Im sick of these uneducated people who think that vaccines would have prevented all these cases 85% of theses cases of whooping cough happened to vaccinated kids. Something to think about

    October 23, 2010 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Austin Holmes

    The thought of my son dying to something like this, and it not being diagnosed/treated properly... brings up some very non civilized thoughts that would end the lives of several medical parties involved.

    This is more proof there is no god. We live in a universe where "bad" things are happening all the time. Always expect the worst and make the greatest effort you can at solving it. Don't stay at home while your kid chokes to death with a cough and a fever. DEMAND ANSWERS from the docotors HAVE THEM LOOK AT ALL POSSIBILTIES. Use Google... it might save your kids life.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Lucinda

    I read this as a tragic remnder that the vaccinations we all received during childhood wear off in adulthood. Adults around infants need to be revaccinated for pertussis. I work with a man who contracted pertussis (he was in his 50s). He was very sick, away from work for 6 weeks and took several months to full recover. this is a very serious disease. No way an infant, baby, or small child could survive that. My heart goes out to this grieving family.

    October 23, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JennJ

    This is such a sad occurrence. My physician was on medical leave at the time of my annual physical so I was given another doctor. When I told him I would like the adult booster for the whooping cough, he said it was not necessary. Now mind you, he said this AFTER I told him that our five year old has friends who have infant younger sisters and brothers and that my husband and I are trying to have another baby. I wrote a note to myself to NOT see him again, made an appointment with my regular doctor and informed his supervisor.

    October 23, 2010 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Grandmother

    I believe that a lot of the problem comes from Mothers who don't feel these vaccines are necessary but I also think that one problem is the huge influx we have of illegal immigrants (not just Mexican so don't get your hair up) where they are not giving these vaccinations in their contry as babies and are now coming here and bringing these diseases which we had once wiped out. We never had to have boosters as adults before. Also, when our troops come back from foreign countries, again where vaccinations are not required, there is a good chance they are bringing diseases back that we thought had been erased. I feel, if you have come into this country, legally or illegally, you should receive all vaccinations to protect not only us but their own relatives.

    October 23, 2010 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. JennJ

    I know of parents whose children developed Autism who had vaccines AND parents whose children developed Autism who did not have vaccines.

    October 23, 2010 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sonia


    You people who believe vaccinating is wrong, read all the facts from the CDC in the above article.

    October 23, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. eeyore

    DM, you must be even more delusional than most of your pals. Anyone who posts a link to some page from a site called "vaccinedangers" put out by a group called "Children of God for Life"???? Really, what a f*ckwit.

    If you can't cite anything from a reputable source, you are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    October 23, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. como1

    The baby should not have died of pertussis. He either got it at home from a visitor or at the doctor's office. The mother seems to have done all she could preventitively and proactively to save his life. The real killer is someone who did not get vaccinated for what ever stupid reason and passed the disease to the child. California and Boulder CO have the highest percentages of people who refuse to get vaccinations and have no medical reasons to refuse. These idiots put the atrisk population in jeopardy. At risk means to young or have a medical reason (allergic) to not vaccinate. What a shame for this young boy and his family.

    October 23, 2010 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. eeyore

    DM is using a Catholic Right-to-Life, anti-choice website as "proof" of her absurd claim that 'aborted babies' are used in vaccines. Here's the link for those of you who want a good laugh and actually possess brains: http ://ww w.co gfor life. o rg /

    October 23, 2010 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Jim

    Since the vaccination is not available to infants under 2 months old, I don't understand what the point of this article is? How could a vaccination that a infant cannot have be the answer?

    October 23, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tapati

      Vaccinating those who might come into contact with babies helps to keep them safe during the period they cannot be vaccinated or the vaccines haven't had time to take effect. But most adults don't know there are boosters available for them. So this article is spreading the word that adults and children who have contact with infants ought to be vaccinated. The adult vaccine also protects from tetanus. It's called the T-dap booster. I had whooping cough as an adult and believe me, you don't ever want it. It takes all of your strength to get your breath for another cough to clear your airway; you feel like you are going to suffocate. I can fully understand why babies cannot fight it off.

      October 24, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
  26. Srsly?

    For all of you that doubt that vaccines work, I've only got two words:



    Don't know what those are? That's because those diseases were eradicated here, largely due to vaccination programs.

    October 23, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Suzanne

    My friend's daughter is expecting her first child in November and has made clear to all friends and family that they must be vaccinated if they wish to meet the baby. My daughter is expecting her third child in February. Her first two children have been vaccinated without incident. I recently got my vaccination at the age of 62 without any side effects at all and I have lupus.
    Whooping cough not only affects infants, adults can get it as well. Four members of a card group in my neighborhood came down with the illness.
    I realize that you can't keep your infants from exposure to unvaccinated people. When you go to the pediatrician you may encounter unvaccinated individuals or even out for a walk. By not getting vaccinated you not only put yourself at risk but also your family and friends.
    My sympathy to Carter's family, he is a beautiful child

    October 23, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. sam

    however, I want to know if the mother was breastfeeding? My guess is no. Had she been breastfeeding her body would have made antibodies to protect her baby.
    Vaccines can only do so much.
    If we continue to use artificial baby milk as much as we do, we will continue to see more and more infant deaths.
    How about we start pointing the finger to the AAP and their weak and inconsistent support of breastfeeding and lay off the vaccine talk for a minute?

    October 23, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Suzanne

      You may want to check with your pediatrician on the breast feeding claim. Of course breast feeding is best but babies can become ill even when breastfeeding.

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

      The mother posted earlier in the comments that she had, indeed, breastfed her baby. However, that does not provide immunity to pertussis and she had not been advised by her doctor to get a booster–which is why she's trying to spread the word on the need for adults to get boosters to help provide herd immunity and protect babies from exposure before they are old enough to be vaccinated or to have built up immunity from their vaccines.

      October 24, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
  29. eeyore

    Ahahhahhahhahha, OMG, you couldn't make up this stuff! Here's the info on Thomas J. Eads, cited by DM as proof that Varicella vaccines are made from "aborted babies". Read it and guffaw: EadsHome Ministries...Your one stop location for free downloadable resources on Founding Fathers quotes, Bible lessons–including Mormons, Jehovah's witnesses, Creation versus Evolution, Jesus in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit, as well as the Bible and abortion. You'll also find free resources for Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Curriculum method. We have statements of faith available for your use. And don't forget to visit "God Bless America", for information and resources on Founding Fathers, you can read a founding father quote on religion, God, Christianity and faith there, as well as read the Constitution, and Declaration of Independence. The Senate, Congress, and US Supreme Court are discussed in detail. We also have free patriotic music downloads and lyrics, and Presidential quotes about faith, religion, and Christianity. Did our founders intend to promote "separation of church and state"? Find out here! If you love science, we have astronomy, biology, chemistry and Creation science for starters. This site even examines the evidence for alien intelligent life. Famous quotes including celebrity quotes are also available. ENN is your source for Christian news! You might also enjoy reading how Jesus changed our lives by reading our testimonies. If you have questions about faith, click on "Steps to Peace with God".
    EadsHome Ministries, Where Jesus is Lord!
    The guy's another nut-job anti-choice holy roller.

    As the brilliant Crystal-clear BULL-shirt says: the internet dude, use it and learn. The trouble with that advice is that people like Crystal and DM aren't able to figure out the difference between scientific fact and propaganda. Anyone can publish ANYTHING on the web and claim it's true, and some sucker like Crystal or DM will swallow it with gusto.

    Really, this has been beyond hilarious...or would be, if people weren't so stupid and gullible that they'd actually take the word of bozos like DM and Crystal and reject the knowledge of doctors and scientists.

    October 23, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. eeyore

    Since this website is wonky, I'll paste this so no one misses it. Here's what Thomas Eads' (he's the guy DM thinks knows all about how chicken pox vaccine is made from "aborted babies") website says: EadsHome Ministries...Your one stop location for free downloadable resources on Founding Fathers quotes, Bible lessons–including Mormons, Jehovah's witnesses, Creation versus Evolution, Jesus in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit, as well as the Bible and abortion. You'll also find free resources for Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Curriculum method. We have statements of faith available for your use. And don't forget to visit "God Bless America", for information and resources on Founding Fathers, you can read a founding father quote on religion, God, Christianity and faith there, as well as read the Constitution, and Declaration of Independence. The Senate, Congress, and US Supreme Court are discussed in detail. We also have free patriotic music downloads and lyrics, and Presidential quotes about faith, religion, and Christianity. Did our founders intend to promote "separation of church and state"? Find out here! If you love science, we have astronomy, biology, chemistry and Creation science for starters. This site even examines the evidence for alien intelligent life. Famous quotes including celebrity quotes are also available. ENN is your source for Christian news! You might also enjoy reading how Jesus changed our lives by reading our testimonies. If you have questions about faith, click on "Steps to Peace with God".
    EadsHome Ministries, Where Jesus is Lord!

    So we should all just take some fundie nutcase's word as the gospel and reject the facts provided by doctors and scientists. In a pig's eye, DM. You're busted.

    October 23, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ajivani

    We didn't have diseases like this in the United States any more because of our vaccination campaigns. There is some truth to horrendous side effects in some portions of the population related to vaccinations, but you can't have it both ways. Either you vax and crap like this (mumps, measles, pertussis, etc) are incredibly rare, or you have bunches of little kids dying from crap that hasn't killed people in one hundred years. People from countries who don't have comprehensive vax campaigns bring these diseases into our country as well.

    Another element of this problem are idiot parents bringing their newly hatched crib lizard out into public before it's had a chance to start up its own immune system. Why do women insist on taking their five week old babies everywhere?

    October 23, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. DM

    @Eeyore- You know, you have one hell of a nerve coming on this site, and spouting out your venon against people, correcting spelling mistakes, etc. WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!!!??? Your very rude. No, I am not stupid, and I really don't apprciate you calling me that. Do you call everyone here a name, that doesn't agree with you? You are what we call an ADULT BULLY!!! Your full of bull****!!! Does it make you feel all macho to come back and call everyone here an idiot, stupid, etc? It really makes you look like a huge JACKASS!!! You just think your Mr. Know it All!!! I've seen many people on this forum coming back at you for some of your remarks!!!

    GROW UP!!!!

    Calling people names is RUDE, IMMATURE AND UNCALLED FOR!!!! Oh, and by the way, "PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT", IS A FIGURE OF SPEECH, YOU IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eeyore

      Oooooh, guess I hit a nerve. Poor little DM. It's too bad you're embarrassed about your gullibility and the irresponsible nature of your posts. Don't worry. I doubt a single sentient being here took anything you said seriously.

      If you don't like being called an idiot, stop being one and educate yourself.

      October 23, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      You can find Eeyore under the name of notation in most of these sections. And if she changes her name yet again, you can always spot her. She's always the one calling names, over and over, without providing any credible arguments. You can't really blame her, though. She lives in a trailer with her mother and 20+ cats, is overweight, and probably didn't have a good upbringing, so of course the brain can't function under those conditions very well. Every day she spends posting on CNN is another day she's not working on improving her situtation.

      October 24, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
  33. DM

    @EEEEEEYOOORR–YOUR A JERK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2010 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. DM

    Be careful everyone. Eeyore seems to think that he's the only person on here with a brain!!!!

    October 23, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. eeyore

    Well, querty, I know the facts, but since you don't, here they are: Question: Do Vaccines Contain Aborted Fetal Tissue?
    Some parents reject vaccines on the basis that vaccines might cause autism. Some parents reject vaccines on the basis that vaccines contain aborted fetal tissue. Is this really true?
    Answer: Vaccines contain no aborted fetal tissue.
    But there's more to the story.

    Some vaccines, including the Mumps Measles Rubella (MMR) vaccine, contain killed viruses. The viruses are cultured in aborted fetal tissue. Regarding the MMR vaccine, the CDC states:

    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.
    So if there is any tiny residual cellular material in a vaccine, it is from cell lines. Although those cell lines originated in aborted fetal tissue decades ago, there is no aborted fetal tissue itself in the vaccine.
    For those who are still uncomfortable with this revelation, it might be helpful to know that the Vatican has actually taken a stand on the issue. The Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life issued a statement in 2005 saying that it is wrong to make vaccines using aborted fetal tissue and that such practices should no longer be employed, however, it is acceptable to use vaccines developed from abortions that were carried out decades ago, because immunizations play a vital role in protecting life by preventing illness and death.

    In part, when referring to concerns over the production of vaccines, the academy states: "...the burden of this important battle cannot and must not fall on innocent children and on the health situation of the population – especially with regard to pregnant women."

    The Catholic Church and others concerned about the use of aborted fetuses in the development of vaccinations support alternative vaccines that have been prepared using animal as opposed to human tissues and cells. In some cases such alternative vaccinations are already available. If you want to learn more about alternatives or have specific concerns, contact your pediatrician for further information.

    October 23, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. DM

    @Eeyore-Are you trying to prove something by all the insults you are throwing out at everyone on this forum? You are really making yourself look like a fool! I can tell just by your comments, that you are a macho, adult bully and I think you thrive on having to be right about everything. You are the one that needs to grow some brains cells, stop picking on people and grow up!

    October 23, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. eeyore

    i like curry

    October 23, 2010 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Carter's Mom

    You guys and gals are lsing focus about what this story is about ! Done't use this as a soap box to debate to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. IF you would have READ the story it is about the adult TDAP Vaccine not the Dtap vaccine for children.

    We are asking parents to get their vaccinations updated. Carter's has nothing to do with the debate of what vaccines are made of.

    Carter's story is about myself as his mother not knowing about the shot and not being able to protect my son. An watching him for 9 days struggle to breath and live. We want parents to get educated and stop the spread of this vaccine preventable disease.

    Felicia Dube

    October 23, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee Morgan

      Firstly, my heartfelt condolences on the loss of such a beautiful baby – I have only suffered losing a precious baby through late miscarriage and that was heartbreaking enough.

      Secondly, adult vaccination doesn't necessarily work. Even the vaccine manufacturers state on their product insert that it is unknown if vaccinating adults can stop them from transmitting the disease. Here in Australia we have 3 doctors with completely up to date pertussis vaccination being confirmed with the disease – and all of them have been working at hospitals and clinics exposing hundreds of babies and adults to the disease. The practice of "cocooning" actually has the potential of providing a source of infection to an unprotected newborn as vaccine recipients can become asymptomatic carriers. The only way of truly protecting such young babies is to make sure their vitamin D levels are high enough to fight off respiratory disease, and this means that pregnant and breastfeeding mums need to have their blood levels checked by their doctor and supplements taken to get it high enough to pass onto their babies. In Switzerland every newborn leaves hospital with a supply of vitamin D drops and parents are advised to give them at least until the age of 2. It's such a shame that US and Australian hospitals don't do the same thing, we might save precious lives such as Carter's if they did. Unfortunately mothers aren't given this information.


      October 24, 2010 at 05:12 | Report abuse |
    • Tapati

      I am so sorry for your loss. I know how terrifying it is to have a child in the ICU with tubes and things, and then after that ordeal to lose the battle...absolutely heartbreaking. I hope people do get the point of your campaign. Adults need the booster for their own sakes too. I live in an area with lots of anti-vaccine parents and we've had serious whooping cough outbreaks. I had it myself, as did my teenage daughter. The mucous is thick and the normal cough medicine didn't loosen it up. We felt like we were going to suffocate trying to get enough air in to cough again and clear our airway. It's like no other respiratory illness in that regard–and I've had pneumonia and bronchitis. So adults ought to get boosters to protect themselves as well as vulnerable infants and children. Here in California we have a campaign to get the word out.

      Also, there are vulnerable people with asthma, emphysema, and heart disease (among others) who can be helped by better herd immunity both by TDAP and flu vaccines.

      October 24, 2010 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      I'm sorry for your loss, but you getting the shot wouldn't have protected your son.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • eeyore

      You don't know that at all, Lisa.

      October 27, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      If he did in fact contract it from his parents, yes I do. The vaccine does not prevent transmission.

      October 28, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • eeyore

      You have yet to show a shred of evidence that this is true. If all you have is your word, that might be good enough for you, but it's not good enough for me. You're a faceless, anonymous boob on a message board. I don't believe anything you have to say unless you can prove it with reputable sources and facts. You haven't done that.

      October 28, 2010 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
  39. rahul

    eeyore, maybe u r right, but u need to stop insulting ppl

    October 23, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. qwerty

    evryone's fed up with it. eeyore, u need to stop commenting here.

    October 23, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eeyore

      qwerty, I don't "need" to do anything. I have every right to comment here as I wish. You, on the other hand, have every right to remain ignorant of the facts, just like your pal DM. If you don't like my posts, you're free to scroll or to scram. I won't care either way.

      October 23, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  41. eeyore

    Ohh, gee, "everyone" is fed up with me? Whatever will I do? How will I ever recover from your disapproval?

    Puhleeze. Do you think I care what some doofus like you or DM think about my posts? Do you think I give a rat's patootie if you're insulted? Get over yourselves. You posted lies and misinformation as if it were gospel truth on a public website about health. Your stupidity and ignorance endanger others who aren't smart enough to recognize the difference between fact and some dumb opinion that has no basis in fact at all. If you don't like being made to look foolish, then either STFU of educate yourself.

    October 23, 2010 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. B12AV8

    As sad as this story is, it is nowhere near as sad as the fact that most people reading this believe that it is perfectly fine to murder babies all the time in the form of abortion. So if you agree with abortion but this story makes you sad then you have some very sick and twisted views.

    October 23, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. spacedog

    It's sad that many of you people resort to labeling people and blaming people when you don't have a clue. Labeling people as granola mamas says something about your low IQ. Assuming the baby in this article was infected by someone who was not vaccinated only confirms your ignorance and low IQ. AND, thinking that people should be thrown in jail if they don't vaccinate their kids is a scary thought. If you like that kind of government, please move to a country that has a dictator for a leader as your "ideas" conflict with American freedom. I don't know about you but I sure would not want MY government forcing needles on me.

    Quit your blame game and learn personal responsibility...like taking care of your health and your child's health. Eat healthy, get exercise, and quit worrying about everyone else.

    October 23, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Nadine

    Quit whining and complaining like a bunch of babies and get yourselves and your families vaccinated. We're the responsible adults here and we're accountable for our actions and those of our children who look up to us as role models. Pertussis is a very serious disease with serious complications and unfortunately, we have become too complacent about getting the necessary vaccines to protect our health as well as the safety of those in our community. I live in California which is in the midst of the worst pertussis outbreak in nearly 40 years. The county health department recently issued its health advisory encouraging the elderly and those with compromised immune systems to wear masks. Local drugstores have the pertussis vaccine readily available at very low prices yet very few adults use this service. Why? Because many adults arrogantly believe that pertussis is a disease of the past and the immunizations received during their youth provide them long term immunity. Wrong answer. That arrogant attitude along with scapegoating vaccines is the reason why so many ADULTS spread pertussis to young children who are the most vulnerable. Like it or not, we're responsible for this current pertussis epidemic. Those who choose not to vaccinate themselves and their family because they endanger the health and safety of the public.

    October 23, 2010 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tapati

      Amen! I live in California and years ago we had a similar outbreak in our area. I got it before I even knew that adults could get boosters or that there was an outbreak. I've had pneumonia and bronchitis but whooping cough was terrifying, far worse, with thick mucous that was not thinned out by the expectorant cough syrup. I struggled to get a breath to continue coughing to finally clear my airway, and this was repeated over and over. It also lasted a long time. Adults should get the booster to protect themselves, too! I recently got the booster because whatever immunity I got by having it has long since worn off. I don't ever want to go through that again, and now that I have heart disease I wonder if I'd live through it.

      October 24, 2010 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      But the vaccine doesn't prevent transmission, so how is that going to help?

      October 27, 2010 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
    • eeyore

      That's what you claim, Lisa, but you've yet to provide proof that having adults get pertussis vaccines and boosters will not help reduce the number of infants infected with the disease.

      October 27, 2010 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
  45. Caral from SoCal

    My infant daughter responded badly to her 2 mos. DPT shot, so her pediatrician recommended we just give the DT at 4 and 6 mos. (without the pertussis). That decision came back to haunt us 16 years later – two years ago now – when she went to Russia with our church group to work with street children for the summer. She came home in great health. SHe was babysitting, back with swim team, hanging out with friends, volunteering at church – all her normal stuff. Then we noticed that she was getting a cough at night – dry, hacking, uncontrollable. Took her to the doctor – who had never seen pertussis and did not recognize it. He sent her home, said it might be allergies, since she had no other symptoms. In the course of another week, she was coughing 24 hours a day, gagging, whooping, vomiting coughs. This time, we saw an older doctor who knew what it was before he got in the door...he ran to her chart, opened it....no pertussis set completed. My entire family came down with pertussis. The other siblings, who had the complete DPT series, were "sick" – but not nearly like she was. My elderly grandmother, who lived with us, was 88. 74 years before she had pertussis...she, too, got a bad cough..but still not the whooping, hacking, around the clock cough my duaghter had. She started treatment, but it still took 6 weeks to stop coughing altogether. She gave it to two babies she had babysat as well. ONe was 8 months old – barely any little cough. THe other was 3 months old, and had just had the first shot – like her. That infant is now fine, but nearly died at the time. Once you have held a child in your arms as their lips turn blue and they whoop for breath...you understand the need for continued vacinnes and booster shots for adults. Until then – all you have is conjecture.

    October 23, 2010 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Nadine

    Health Departments should quarantine families and individuals with known cases of pertussis. In the interest of public safety to check the spread of this deadly disease, local hospitals have a duty to report each confirmed case of pertussis to county and state Health Departments. In fact, local hospitals should first voluntarily quarantine the infected persons with the confirmed cases of pertussis and give free pertussis vaccines to everyone living in that household as preventive measure. If they will not comply with the voluntary quarantine orders, then the local and county governments have the duty to quarantine areas where there are known pertussis cases. Sounds far fetched? Not at all. Cities and counties employed these measures during the polio and tuberculosis pandemics of the 1950s and 1960s which encouraged people to take proactive measures to protect their health and that of everyone with whom they interact by getting the proper medical care and vaccinations.

    October 23, 2010 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Mack

    May God bless you and ease your pain. What a beautiful little boy.

    October 23, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. mary

    I grew up in the 50's..I was one of the first kids who was mass immunized against polio.. Dpt shots had been around longer than those.. ( I am almost sure ) And they were almost standard.. Step on a nail and you got a combined dpt shot..
    After around 7 the shot was the DT shot..
    IN fact it was thought at the time the shot was needed yearly..So I got plenty of them too...
    As far as safety it is one of the most safe shots there is.. NO reason to fear the shot..More reason to fear whooping cough.

    October 23, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. mother of four

    This is just an FYI. Visit the HRSA's site, specifically the vaccination injury fund. Go here:


    Take note of the number of times that the government has had to pay out on vaccination related injuries. And this is just the people with the resources to file.

    I am not suggesting that people shouldn't vaccinate. I am suggesting that you need to do your own homework and do allow anyone to panic you into making a decision. Take a look at the statistics, read the studies themselves–not summaries given by those with an agenda (and I'm including both sides of the debate in this). Refuse to be pressured or guilted into choosing a path that suits the purposes of others.

    October 23, 2010 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. stef24

    I had the pertussis vaccine as a baby but in 2005 I came down with pertussis at the age of 31. And it was NASTY. I started out with a low grade fever, fatigue...my MD diagnosed me as having an upper respiratory infection and I was given antibiotics. But they didn't help and I worsened. And then the cough came. The cough is so unbearable. There is no medicine to take for whooping cough. I did have cough medicine but that was basically to help me sleep. As I said, I was 31 years old and felt like complete crap. It breaks my heart to hear about these tiny babies who suffered. To parents, please get your children immunized. You do NOT want them to suffer from this.

    October 23, 2010 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tapati

      Yes, you feel like you will suffocate. Most horrible infectious illness I've ever had, and I was in my early 30s too. Now, with heart disease, it would probably kill me so I got the booster because we're having another outbreak. Whatever immunity I had from getting it has worn off.

      October 24, 2010 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
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