Jeff Gordon signs on with education campaign

Racing Legend Jeff Gordon to Rev Up Volume on the Sounds of Campaign Jeff Gordon knows a lot about running for victories and championships, and as a parent to a three-year-old with a baby boy on the way, he's learning a lot about parenting.

Racing Legend Jeff Gordon to Rev Up Volume on the Sounds of Campaign

Jeff Gordon knows a lot about running for victories and championships, and as a parent to a three-year-old with a baby boy on the way, he's learning a lot about parenting. That's why the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and his wife, model Ingrid Vandebosch, are working with the March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasteur to kick off the Sounds of Pertussis, a national education campaign to educate parents about the risks of pertussis.

What is Pertussis?

Parents expect to hear the sounds of their infants' coos and giggles - not the sound of their child coughing and gasping for air from a terrible disease called pertussis. Such a cough, especially when followed by a "whoop" sound, may be an indicator of a serious disease, pertussis, also known as whooping cough, whose incidence across the United States has been on the rise.

* Between 2000-2003 and 2004-2007, there was a 100 percent increase in average annual reported cases of pertussis.1-3

* Because pertussis is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, experts estimate that the actual number of cases is much higher than those actually reported to the CDC ,and may reach as high as 800,000 to 3.3 million adult and adolescent cases of pertussis in any given year.4

* Outbreaks have been reported all across the country this year. In California confirmed cases of pertussis have tripled in the state through the end of May compared to the same time period last year. More specifically in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area, there has been a six-fold increase in the first five months of 2010. Five infants in California have died from pertussis so far this year, compared to just three in all of 2009.

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease whose coughing fits can be so violent that infants cannot catch their breath and may turn blue.5 Pertussis can lead to other serious complications, such as pneumonia, and even death.6 In recent years, about 92 percent of pertussis deaths have occurred in infants younger than 12 months of age.6 And when it could be determined how an infant got pertussis, up to 80 percent of the time infants caught the disease from a family member - primarily parents.7

The goal of the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign is to encourage parents to help protect their babies by protecting themselves against pertussis with an adult Tdap vaccine. As expectant parents for the second time, Jeff and Ingrid will be lending their voices for greater awareness on the need for adult pertussis vaccination.

To learn more about Pertussis and the Sounds of Pertussis campaign, visit www.SoundsofPertussis.com.

-source: march of dimes

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About this article
Series Charity , NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Gordon