I would talk to your friends with dc and don't let any child near your baby if they haven't been vaccinated or are unwell. Whooping cough starts with minor cold like symptoms - any child who has got 'a little bit of a cold' should be kept away. I think dd1 had whooping cough in the spring. We went to see my baby niece when she was right at the beginning of it. She'd been a little unwell, seemed better, had a bit of a cough. It wasn't till a month later when she was still having really awful bouts of coughing that I clicked. Fortunately my niece escaped unscathed.
I think you might find, Leonie, that unless you have very small children, the probability of contracting whooping cough today is far greater than when your children were babies. Catherina just blogged about it justthevax.blogspot.com/
Leonie - you need to watch your dcs really carefully atm. There are A LOT of whopping cough cases about and parental awareness isn't great. As I've said lower down I think dd1 has had this earlier this year and I didn't put things together for some time to realise.
Well, since you think Catherina has an agenda, here are the figures from the HPA.
322 reported cases of pertussis in 2008 when your little one was born. 1781 reported cases in 2012, to date (still 3 months to go as well).
Your confidence is misplaced and the risk today is greater. Unfortunately for your children, herd immunity isn't as strong as it used to be so they are at much greater risk especially if you have an older child as well. Like Northerner said, you're going to have to be very careful. .
I've done a few stories on this at work recently, and Whooping cough is indeed on the rise again. The vaccine's effectiveness wanes over 20 years. I personally would be investigating the vaccine, even if it only protects you against some forms of WC, that's one less strain you have to worry about.
I agree I'd be keeping the baby at home and away from prolonged contact with strangers/people outside immediate family until she's had her first vaccinations.
OYBBK, I think as far as I could tell the main concern was for babies under the age of 8 weeks, ie before they are usually vaccinated, as 9 babies under the age of 8 weeks have died from WC this year. I think if you have been vaccinated within the past 20 years you are still covered to some extent, but the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes after about 20 years, so the problem appears to be adults getting it and passing it on to babies when they are very vulnerable. At least that's how I understand it...