Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare is encouraging all soon-to-be-mommies to get a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine to keep infants from becoming sick.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a bacterial infection that causes severe coughing and can be deadly to infants. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a new strain of the bacteria has been found without one of its proteins. Although the strain has changed, the current Tdap vaccine remains effective.

If mothers receive a Tdap shot, infants will be better protected from the disease until their first vaccination at two months. Others caring for the baby are also encouraged to receive a booster shot. Officials with FSLH say babies will not become fully immune until six months of age, when they receive their third shot.

Cases of whooping cough peak in the United States every three to five years, but can be curbed in individuals with proper protection.