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Boostrix - DTP Polio vaccine

BOOSTRIX-IPV is a vaccine used as a booster to prevent four diseases, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and poliomyelitis (polio) in adults and children aged 4 years and older who have been previously vaccinated against these diseases. The vaccine works by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against these diseases.

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are all serious life-threatening diseases caused by bacterial infection. Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease caused by viral infection.

Diphtheria mainly affects the airways and sometimes the skin. Generally the airways become inflamed (swollen) causing severe breathing difficulties and sometimes suffocation. The bacteria also release a toxin (poison), which can cause nerve damage, heart problems, and death. The risk of serious complications and death is greater in the very young and elderly.

Tetanus (Lockjaw)
Tetanus bacteria enter the body through wounded skin. Wounds that are especially prone to infection are burns, fractures, deep wounds or wounds contaminated with soil, dust, horse manure or wood splinters. The bacteria release a toxin (poison), which can cause muscle stiffness, painful muscle spasms, fits and death. The spasms can be strong enough to cause bone fractures of the spine. The death rate is 10% of cases.

Pertussis (Whooping cough)
Pertussis is a highly infectious illness. The disease affects the breathing tract causing severe spells of coughing that may interfere with normal breathing. The coughing is often accompanied by a ‘whooping’ sound. The cough may last for 1-2 months or longer. Pertussis can also cause middle ear infections, long-lasting bronchitis, pneumonia, fits, brain damage and death. The risk of severe complications and death is greatest in infants under 6 months of age. The death rate is 0.5% for infants under 6 months of age.

Poliomyelitis (Polio)
Polio is a viral infection that can have variable effects. Often it causes only a mild illness but in some people it causes permanent injury or death. In its severest form, polio infection causes paralysis of the muscles, including those needed for breathing and walking. Polio infection can leave a person unable to breathe without the help of an iron lung machine, unable to walk without leg braces, or confined to a wheel chair. The limbs affected by the disease may be painfully deformed.

Vaccination is the best way to protect against these diseases. BOOSTRIX-IPV cannot give you or your child diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis or polio infection. The vaccine will not protect against diseases caused by other types of bacteria, viruses or organisms.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.

This vaccine is available only with a doctor's prescription.

There is not enough information to recommend the use of this medicine for children under the age of 4 years.

For more information visit www.mydr.com.au

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General Information


Croup is an infection of the throat (larynx) and windpipe (trachea) that results in noisy breathing and a harsh, barking cough. Most children who have croup are under five years old. Some older children (aged between three and eight years) may develop occasional croup.

Croup usually starts with a ‘cold’
Children with croup usually have an illness like a cold first – a runny nose, cough and slight temperature. Then the child wakes during the night with a barking cough and difficulty breathing. This can last a couple of hours and reappear for the next couple of nights.

Children are small, so their airway is narrow. When infection causes swelling of the lining of the airway, it becomes even narrower making it difficult for the child to breathe. This happens particularly when the air is cold, such as at night-time.

Symptoms of croup

The symptoms include:
Noisy breathing (inspiratory stridor) – a high-pitched sound
Harsh, barking cough
Hoarse voice
Difficulty breathing – depending on how severe the illness is.

Get help immediately if symptoms become serious

If the child’s symptoms don’t settle quickly with comforting and once they stop crying, the child needs to be seen by a doctor urgently. In rare cases, a severe croup attack can cause a child to stop breathing. The symptoms of croup are also similar to those caused by other, much more serious conditions. For example, your child could have epiglottitis (inflammation of the epiglottis).

See a doctor immediately if your child:
  • Is obviously not well
  • Has a high fever
  • Is breathing more quickly or has difficulty breathing
  • Makes a noise while breathing (particularly a snoring sound on breathing out, even when resting)
  • Has difficulty swallowing
  • Suddenly starts to cough
  • Is restless, anxious or sweating
  • Has a bluish tinge to the lips
  • Experiences ‘caving in’ of the soft tissues of the neck and between the ribs when trying to breathe in.
In these situations, take your child to the nearest children’s hospital or to a hospital where there are doctors with experience in caring for children – urgently.

Treatment for croup at home

You can treat mild croup at home if your child has no breathing problems or noisy breathing when they are not crying. Suggestions include:
Comfort your child – having a croupy cough and noisy breathing frightens children and being scared makes the situation worse.
Offer frequent drinks – unless your child is having difficulty swallowing.
Give paracetamol according to your child’s weight – only as directed by your doctor, if your child has a high fever or sore throat and if your doctor is sure the problem is not epiglottitis.
Moisture in the air – Some parents like to use vaporisers in their child’s room, but doctors do not currently recommend it as there is no evidence that humidified air helps croup and there is a risk of burns from the steam. If vaporisers are used, ensure that instructions for use are followed closely and the room is well ventilated.

Treatment for croup by a doctor

Mild croup generally settles within a couple of hours and the child goes back to sleep. If the croup doesn’t settle, or if your child becomes more distressed or unwell, take them to your doctor or children’s hospital straight away. Medical treatment for croup may include:
Steroids – oral or inhaled steroids. Steroids decrease the length of the croup episodes. They also reduce the need for admission to hospital.
Nebulised adrenalin – in severe symptoms, adrenalin may be given (in hospital) to relieve the swelling in the windpipe until the steroids work. A device called a nebuliser is used to administer the medication in the form of a mist that is inhaled into the lungs.

Prevention of croup

The viruses that cause croup are very similar to those of the common cold. They start to be infectious with the first signs, such as a runny nose and cough, and remain infectious for up to five days. Only about one in 10 children who get these viruses will develop croup.

It is not usually possible to prevent croup. Many viruses can cause it and there is no immunisation available against most of them. However, immunisation against influenza is recommended as this may actually prevent croup caused by the influenza virus (influenza-induced croup).

All children who are aged six months and older can be immunised against influenza. This is especially important for children with an underlying chronic illness such as asthma or cystic fibrosis. Antibiotics will not be of use as the viruses that cause croup will not respond to this treatment.

Where to get help

In an emergency, call triple zero (000)
Emergency department of your nearest hospital
Your doctor

Things to remember

Croup is a viral infection of the throat and windpipe that causes noisy breathing, a hoarse voice and a harsh, barking cough.
Croup usually starts as a ‘cold’ for a few days, then the noisy breathing and cough start (usually at night).
You can treat mild croup at home if your child has no breathing problems or noisy breathing when they are not crying.
If there are signs of increasing windpipe obstruction, seek urgent medical help.

Source: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

The information in the above were collected from the internet,
either from government websites or from reasonably reliable health information sources.
They are for general information only and should not replace the need of seeking medical care during illnesses.

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