Hospitalized infant (illustrative)
Hospitalized infant (illustrative)iStock

A five-week-old baby from the Jerusalem area has died of pertussis, the Health Ministry reported on Tuesday.

An epidemiological investigation of the incident revealed that the infant's mother did not receive the recommended DTaP vaccination during pregnancy.

The vaccination provides newborns with protection until they are old enough to receive their own DTaP vaccinations.

In its announcement, the Health Ministry stressed that pertussis, also known as whooping cough or "the 100-day cough," is an extremely dangerous illness for young infants, and can cause complications or death.

The rates of pertussis in Israel have been rising since January 2023. To help mitigate this and protect young infants, the Health Ministry has instructed that the first pertussis vaccine may be given at the age of six weeks instead of eight weeks.