Whooping cough scares family with young baby

Flynn, 4, Kyron, 2, Taleese and six-week-old Azaylah Penna hope they're over the worst of the whooping cough scare.
Flynn, 4, Kyron, 2, Taleese and six-week-old Azaylah Penna hope they're over the worst of the whooping cough scare. Tracey Joynson

WONDUNNA's Taleese Penna has endured an agonising wait she hopes no other mum has to go through.

Her two-year-old son Kyron recently tested positive to whooping cough - a diagnosis that would be worrying enough for the family, without factoring in her their six-week-old daughter Azaylah.

Kyron was diagnosed with the illness that can be fatal to newborns three days before Azaylah was able to get her whooping cough vaccination.

She has now had it and the whole family was given antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection and to treat symptoms, although Taleese was told the antibiotics would have limited ability to cure the illness.

Taleese was told to keep a watchful eye on Azaylah to make sure she doesn't develop symptoms of whooping cough - if she does, she must be taken to hospital immediately for observation.

"It is alarming," Taleese said.

Most frightening for the family, Taleese said, was the fact that a baby as young as Azaylah , may show no symptoms at all of having the disease, including the well-known cough - she may just stop breathing.

So Taleese bought a breathing monitor.

The stress the diagnosis has caused is something Taleese fears other families may have to go through if she doesn't raise awareness.

Taleese said at first her GP and doctors at Hervey Bay Hospital thought asthma was the most likely reason Kyron had been coughing so much, with the family even having to rush him to hospital after a severe coughing fit left him almost unable to breathe.

Taleese requested a test be carried out for whooping cough and found he had it.

Her son Flynn, 4, also has a cough, so Taleese is keeping her children as separate as possible until she is confident Azaylah is in the clear.

Both Flynn and Kyron have been immunised against whooping cough.

Whooping cough symptoms

  • Congestion
  • Severe cough
  • Fever
  • Flushed complexion

Read about the number of cases of whooping cough here in the past three years.

Topics:  fraser coast health scare whooping cough

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