A video showing the symptoms of whooping cough has gone viral after a mum shared it to Facebook to raise awareness of the lesser known symptoms.
Sandra Tee, from Sydney, Australia, uploaded the video of her five-week-old baby daughter Heidi struggling to breathe to her own page, explaining that while she knew the video may be upsetting, she felt it important for other parents to know the warning signs.
‘This video may distress some people but I’m sharing to show just how scary and dangerous whooping cough is to babies who are too young to be vaccinated,’ Sandra wrote in the heartbreaking post.
‘This is my 5 week old baby during an episode where she chokes and stops breathing. Babies rely on herd immunity to keep them safe and unfortunately we cannot achieve that without high vaccination rates.’
‘Whooping cough is not always a loud obvious cough. The scary symptom for babies is when they don’t cough but silently choke and turn blue/purple from lack of oxygen. If we weren’t in hospital and sitting watching our baby 24/7 the outcome would be fatal.’
‘Please don’t ignore the warning signs- our baby girl only had a slight cough to start. Please share this to educate more people on the importance of vaccinations.’
She later added in the comments on the post, ‘The head paediatrician wanted us to film it to show people how the cough isn’t always the worst/major symptom in babies. It’s the silent episodes which mean we are watching her 24/7 and very tired! Lucky my husband is amazing and we have been taking shifts.’
Since Sandra uploaded the video on 22nd August, it’s had more than 7,500 shares, and hundreds of comments from concerned viewers.
‘This is horrible. I just hope she gets better really soon. So sorry for you all,’ one wrote, whilst another added, ‘Broke my heart watching this I was in tears. I’m so sorry you and ur family are going through this with such a tiny newborn it’s not right! You must be so exhausted! Sending all our prayers your way.’
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that can affect any age group, but is especially dangerous for young babies – particularly those who are too young to be vaccinated.
In the UK, the whooping cough vaccination is offered to pregnant women who are between 20-32 weeks. It is then part of the the 5-in-1 vaccine – offered to babies at eight, 12 and 16 weeks of age – and the 4-in-1 pre-school booster – offered to children by three years and four months.