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Ask the Expert: Adding newborn safety by 'cocooning'

Adding newborn safety by 'cocooning' (WKRC)

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (WKRC) - Whooping cough is going around the Tri-State and health care providers are most worried about new parents with babies.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Liz Bonis joined experts from St. Elizabeth Healthcare to explain the benefits of a "cocooning" program for parents, babies and family members to protect infants.

The team at St. Elizabeth Healthcare is part of a state-wide effort to reduce the spread of pertussis, or "whooping cough," which has been on the rise.

One way to do this is through what's called "cocooning."

"I'm not one to tell them what they can and can't do about their body, but I can tell them what they can and can't do around my baby. I just hope that they would want to protect her as much as I did," said mother Courtney Klingenberg.

At the Family Birth Place at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Courtney, Palmer's mom, said after her baby spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, she's extra careful that those who surround her get every possible vaccine to prevent an illness, including the one Cody got Thursday. Pertussis is caused by the bordetella pertussis bacteria.

Cody and Ashley are the parents of Mercedee; she was born Wednesday. The vaccine Cody got protects against what causes whooping cough.

Since a newborn is too young to get this vaccine, the St. Elizabeth Healthcare team is stepping it up and offering free vaccines to parents of these babies to protect them.

"Cocooning" is putting a network of caregivers around the baby to protect the baby from being exposed to pertussis.

Any parent or any adult caregiver of the baby should be getting the whooping cough vaccine; you could be saving a life.

While whooping cough is still circulating, and can all year, the CDC is now saying the flu is finally starting to decline.

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