A Message for Parents: How You Can Help Stop the Spread of Whooping Cough to Our Babies

Having a baby changes the life of every parent as they begin a new journey filled not only with excitement, but also great responsibility. One of the most important goals of any parent is to keep their baby healthy and safe. But what if there's something parents didn't know they should be doing? What if it could mean the difference between life and death? No parent should ever have to experience the tragedy of losing an infant or watching them struggle for their next breath, or worse yet, be the unknowing cause of that devastation.

As a parent, I have done my research in order to make informed decisions about my health and the well-being of my children. America is experiencing a resurgence of pertussis, with more cases reported in the last 10 years than the prior 40 years combined, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is so important for us as parents to know what we can do to help protect ourselves and our babies from this highly contagious and often serious disease. In adolescents and adults, it usually presents as a severe cough that may last for weeks or even months and the milder form is often mistaken for the common cold or bronchitis. But what's especially concerning is that pertussis can be easily spread and in babies it can be potentially fatal. I knew I needed to take action after learning that researchers found that when it could be determined how an infant caught pertussis, family members were responsible for spreading the disease to the baby in up to 80 percent of cases.1 More specifically, parents were responsible up to 50 percent of the time.2

My children are my top priority and I've always put their health and safety first, that's why I didn't hesitate when Sanofi Pasteur and March of Dimes asked me to join the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign to help raise awareness about the potential dangers of pertussis and the importance of adult tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination. As the National Sounds of Pertussis Campaign Ambassador, I am urging parents to make sure that anyone who comes in contact with their baby is up to date on their adult Tdap vaccination to help protect themselves and to help stop the spread of the disease to their babies.

While I have been fortunate that my own family has not been directly impacted by pertussis, the reported statistics are staggering, and the need for education and prevention is imperative. Here is some of the important information I learned in my own research:

• Estimates indicate that there may be as many as 800,000 to 3.3 million adult and adolescent cases of pertussis in the U.S. in any given year.

• Immunity from early childhood pertussis vaccinations wears off after about five to 10 years, so adults who were immunized as children may no longer be protected, making them more vulnerable to the disease, which they can spread to others.2

• Infants are particularly vulnerable against pertussis because they don't begin receiving their own immunizations until they are two months old and may not be protected until they've had at least three doses of an infant pertussis vaccine.

• More than half of babies younger than one year of age who get the disease must be hospitalized.

• In 2013, 100 percent of pertussis deaths occurred in infants younger than 12 months of age.

As parents,the responsibility is ours to help protect the greatest gift we can receive -- our children. That's why I made sure I was up to date on my adult pertussis vaccination and asked my friends and family to do the same. It's so important to know that there are simple steps you can take as an adult to help protect yourself and to help stop the spread of pertussis to infants. I'm asking you to join me in this effort.

Please visit SoundsOfPertussis.com to learn more about pertussis and the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign. There, you can access the Campaign's Facebook application, the Breathing Room, which allows parents to send a brief message to family and friends in their Facebook network asking them to make the pledge to be vaccinated against pertussis, as well as Grandparents' Corner, an online resource that provides customized tools and resources to help grandparents learn more about pertussis.

###

References:

1. Wendelboe AM, Njamkempo E, Bourillon A et al. "Transmission of Bordetella pertussis to young infants." Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007;26(4):293-9.

2. Bisgard KM, Pascual FB, Ehresmann KR et al. "Infant pertussis: Who was the source?" Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004;23(11):985-9.
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Willie Nelson Has An Important Political Message For Stoners

The following article is provided by Rolling Stone.

By STEPHEN L. BETTS

Willie Nelson's Teapot Party movement, which now has more than 115,000 Facebook followers, was founded after his 2010 arrest for marijuana possession in Texas. His practical (and slyly humorous) advice to fellow pot advocates is to support like-minded candidates.

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"Get out and go vote," he says in an interview with CelebStoner News. "If it's the day to go vote, make sure you go vote before you burn one down. Don't get high and forget to vote."

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The country legend and tireless marijuana advocate admits even he was surprised when pot was legalized in Colorado and Washington state, noting, "I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime, but here it is. The future looks good."

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The 81-year-old performer has even been contacted by the governor's office in Colorado to appear in a public service announcement about marijuana, but has yet to decide whether he'll do it or not. One thing he has decided on is his backing of Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, due to her stance in support of medical marijuana. Nelson also has his eye on other changes in the laws regarding pot use and attributes many of those changes to financial concerns.

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"There's a lot of money in selling marijuana," he reasons. "If you can do it legally, that's good. Why should all the criminals make the money? This is what people are thinking. If it's happening, if it's going to be legal, let's tax it and regulate it, like we do with everything else, and make some money off this. I think that's one reason why people are taking this a little more seriously."

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The singer-songwriter, whose "Band of Brothers" album was released earlier this month, reveals he's not a big fan of edible marijuana but does advocate vaporizers. He also notes that his daughter Paula, who was busted for pot possession (on 4/20) this year, has since has her case thrown out and taken off the record.
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Anna Kendrick Calls Out Charlize Theron For Dress Faux Pas

Anna Kendrick is straight-up contacting the fashion police.

The actress took to Twitter on Monday, June 23, to point out that the dress Charlize Theron wore on her June Vogue cover is the same one the "Pitch Perfect" star donned in a recent Elle shoot.

She jokingly called out Theron for the faux pas:




Kendrick's complimenting of Theron's dashing looks falls in line with the actress's history of self-deprecation about her own appearance.

"I’ve never felt like I’ve exactly traded on my looks," Kendrick told Elle in the same issue in which she wears said dress. "I’ve never had a crisis about whether the only reason I’m successful is because I’m crazy hot. It’s not something that crosses my mind."

In her 2014 ad for Newcastle Ale, the actress joked along the same lines: "I was surprised that I even got offered the part, you know, cause I don't think of myself as like, beer-commercial-babe hot. You know?"

Kendrick may perceive herself however she wishes, but in our opinion, both actresses stun in the cutely-stitched number.
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Cara Delevingne Sleeps During Interview With Vogue

Cara Delevingne could not stop sleeping during her Vogue interview.

In a recent profile by Plum Sykes, the young model/actress/general it-girl made her interviewer wait not once, but twice, for her to wake up.

"I always wake up 10 minutes before I have to be anywhere," the 21-year-old explained when she rolled in late and disheveled to the spa where the two had plans to meet. She then suggested they get massages, and promptly fell asleep on her table.

"I'm so sorry!" she told Sykes when she emerged hours later. "I fall asleep everywhere! Someone recently asked if they could publish a book of pictures of me sleeping, because there are so many."

Later that evening, the model's perplexed interviewer contacted fashion photographer Tim Walker, who has worked with Delevingne many times.

“Every shoot I’ve done with her, she’s fallen asleep,” he told her. “She slept for seven hours on one Mulberry shoot.”

Sykes chalks up Delevingne's sleeping to partying late, though Delevingne says she does because of jet lag. But it seems like the real culprit may be sheer busyness: On the day of the interview alone, Delevingne had to record dialogue for a movie, attend a fitting with Stella McCartney, go to a Fendi-store launch party, and have dinner with Karl Lagerfeld. With a packed schedule like that, who can blame a girl for being tired?

Delevingne took to Twitter to defend herself, claiming, sensibly, that an ambitious life can prove draining:



All we can say is: You do you, girl.
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10 TV Shows From The Past 20 Years That Are Super Overrated

There's so much good TV out there these days. Between catching episodes of "Game of Thrones" and getting our Netflix binges in, there never seems to be enough time to fit it all in. Luckily, we at HuffPost TV think there are a few shows you can skip. In our opinions -- and yes, we know they're probably unpopular -- these are the most overrated shows from the past 20 years:

"Girls," HBO

girls

“Girls” is often praised for being relatable and real, but damn, what a bleak world we must live in if this show is supposed to resemble reality. Not one character on the show is remotely likable: even Shoshanna’s ramblings went stale after one season. More often than not, I find myself cringing at their selfish behavior (and every time Marnie sings) than I ever find myself rooting for them, mainly because they are so ridiculously self-absorbed it’s almost like you don’t want things to work out for them so they can finally wake up. Identifying with this show is like readily accepting that friends are essentially horrible to each other. Help us if this is what people think 20-somethings are actually like. -- Lauren Zupkus

"Seinfeld"

seinfeld

I know it's an unpopular opinion to think that "Seinfeld" is anything less than comedy gold, but whatever. Sure, it's amusing, but it's not the be-all and end-all of sitcoms that people make it out to be.

It's a show about nothing, and the characters range from being mildly annoying to outright terrible people. I'm not saying it's a bad show, but it's way overblown for a sitcom that just gave us a bunch of catchphrases. -- Stephanie Marcus

"Scandal," ABC

scandal

Olivia Pope has a great wardrobe. I’ll give her that. But I gave “Scandal” a fair shot -- a season and a half! -- and I just never got into it. I was bored by nearly every problem Olivia was fixing, and watching her eyes fill with tears as she told the president that she was done with him while violins played in the background was unbearable. I mean, really? This is the show everyone’s whispering about on Friday mornings? I just don’t get it. -- Leigh Weingus

"Wilfred," FX

wilfred fx

In “Harry Potter,” they say a Dementor’s kiss is the worst fate possible. Those people have probably never seen “Wilfred.” The premise of the show seems hilarious: Elijah Wood sees his neighbor’s pet as a man in a dog costume with an Australian accent. Put another episode of that on the barbie, mate! But the storylines and jokes are so perverted and unfunny that if Samwise Gamgee knew this would happen to Frodo, he would’ve gladly just pushed him into Mount Doom and chucked up the deuces. Bottom line, a full episode of “Wilfred” will have you booty calling every Dementor in your contacts for a hardcore make-out sesh, because anything has to be better than this. -- Bill Bradley

"Boardwalk Empire," HBO

boardwalk empire

Sure, this lavish HBO drama looks good: The costumes are perfect, the sets clearly cost a fortune and every period detail is just right. Not only that, the cast is packed with terrific actors. So why is this drama so deadly dull so much of the time? Because it has all the passion and energy of a droning PowerPoint presentation. Structurally and visually, "Boardwalk Empire" is competently designed, but during those long stretches between scenes that actually crackle with life, we call it by its true name: "Boredwalk Empire." -- Maureen Ryan

“Orphan Black," BBC America

orphan black

After hearing the buzz surrounding “Orphan Black" -- that BBC America show about clones not to be confused with the Netflix show "Orange Is the New Black" about prison inmates -- I decided to give it a shot. I’m not going to lie, the first episode sucked me in a little bit, but as I continued to watch the next few episodes, I got … well … bored. Clones are cool and all, but too many can get your head spinning. Now, let me just say that Tatiana Maslany is incredible in this series, playing multiple "versions" of her character Sarah Manning. Still, the other supporting stars fail to live up to her acting chops, which made the show fall flat for me. (Oddly enough, Maslany has better onscreen chemistry with herself than anyone else.)

Maybe I should give it another go? Who knows. But with all the amazing series on TV today, it’s hard to invest that much time in something that didn’t impress me as much as I expected to. I'll stick with "Downtown Abbey." -- Leigh Blickley

“The Real Housewives,” Bravo

real housewives oc

We all get sucked into inane reality shows since drama that’s not our own apparently gives us a twisted and addictive sense of pleasure. The appeal of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise lies in the unending outrageous table-throwing, wig-pulling and bitch-festing of rich female socialites that is so overblown it’s hard to look away. But wasn’t just one or two city spinoff series enough? Do we really need nine separate series and four international version (which currently total 30 seasons) of wealthy women bickering about their "problems"? At what point does it stop being fun and start becoming a pure and embarrassing waste of our time and dilution of our intelligence? Oh wait, it already has. Quit it, Bravo. -- Erin Whitney

"Mad Men," AMC

mad men

I understand why everyone loves to drink on “Mad Men.” Honestly, I’d have knock a few back just to get through an episode of this snooze-fest. Congratulations, you added some excitement when a character decided to do away with one of his nipples, but since this is the final season, the only thing it did is wake people up to how boring this show has been the past few years. We get it. Don Draper is meant to be the sex-obsessed ladies man who uses his countless illicit affairs to mask his more serious life problems and really, underneath the booze and the sleeze-ball behavior, he’s just looking for redemption, blah, blah, blah … but since this trope has been more than played out on screen, I don’t feel bad for his smarmy, tacky fedora-wearing self. -- Jessica Toomer

"Orange Is The New Black," Netflix

orange is the new black

Hang on, let me put on this helmet before getting into why I think "Orange Is the New Black" is the new overrated show of the moment. Which isn't to say that it's bad: "OITNB" is a fine show, one blessed with a strong cast (Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley and Nick Sandlow are particular highlights) and the ability to represent the kinds of characters who are permanently under-represented on television. Yet does it all have to be so derivative? The flashback structure was done better by "Lost," the picayune bureaucracy was explored to more satisfying ends on "Parks and Recreation" and gallows humor was stronger on everything from "The Sopranos" to "Mad Men."

For every strong and fully developed character, meanwhile, there are cartoons. Taylor Schilling's Piper has grown into a messed-up anti-hero along the lines of Nancy Botwin or Hannah Horvath, but Kate Mulgrew's Red feels better suited for "Rocky and Bullwinkle." Then there's Vee (Lorraine Toussaint), Season 2's big bad and a caricature of frustrating and unbelievable proportions. Vee started as a seductive Cheshire Cat, but wound up one step away from twirling her proverbial mustache while tying kittens to railroad tracks. Every scene she appeared in as Season 2 drew to its close grew more and more grating and unbelievable, much like "OITNB" itself. -- Christopher Rosen

"South Park," Comedy Central

south park comedy central scene

"South Park" has made an undeniable impact on popular culture, but in my mind, the only great thing it's given us is the time Trey Parker and Matt Stone dropped acid before being interviewed on the Oscar red carpet. Shows written solely to push buttons strike many a chord, but in most regards, "South Park" is a lame attempt at humor that's timely but not clever or resilient. Mixed with crude animation (yes, I know "South Park" advocates love that aspect of the show) and an ADD approach to prime-time sex and violence, the show veers into overly crude territory way too often. For every philosophical synthesis of how existential the show is and why its lewd approach is smart, there's a list of overrated series calling "South Park's" name. -- Matthew Jacobs

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‘Survivor’ Contestant Caleb Bankston Dead At Age 26 Following Railway Accident

Former "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" contestant Caleb Bankston died on Tuesday, June 24, following a railway accident, reports People magazine.

The 26-year-old worked as a locomotive engineer/conductor at the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham, and was working on one of the trains when it derailed, killing him. At this time it is still unclear as to what caused the train's derailment, but OSHA and the Federal Railroad Administration have been contacted, reports TMZ.

News of his death sent "shockwaves" through the "Survivor" community, according to People magazine, who spoke to several of Bankston's former contestants who expressed an outpouring of grief and their deepest sympathies for his family.

Bankston was a well-liked castmate who appeared on the show in 2013 alongside his fiancé Colton Cumbie, and ended the game in ninth place. He's the third contestant from the CBS game show to die since the show premiered in 2000.

Former "Survivor: Palau" contestant Jenn Lyon died in 2010 at the age of 37 after a six-year battle with breast cancer, and last year BB Anderson, who appeared on the show's first season, died of brain cancer at the age of 77.
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Soccer Star Hope Solo Enters Not Guilty Plea In Domestic Violence Arrest

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) — U.S. women's soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo has entered a not guilty plea following her domestic violence arrest at her sister's home in suburban Seattle.

Solo appeared in court Monday and was released without bail. She was ordered not to have contact with the alleged victims and to not drink alcohol. Authorities say Solo was intoxicated early Saturday when she was accused of assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew. But her lawyer, Todd Maybrown, said she was a victim in the altercation.

Solo was booked into jail for investigation of two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault. Kirkland police said in a report on the incident that a caller reported a female at the residence was hitting people and they could not get her to stop or leave the house.

Solo did not speak in court except to answer the judge's questions.

Maybrown entered the plea and argued against the city of Kirkland's request for bail, noting that Solo does not have a criminal history and her status as a public figure makes it unlikely that she would not appear when called back to court.

"There's going to be a very strong defense in this case," Maybrown added. He did not object to the city prosecutor's request for a noncontact order.

Solo's next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 11.

Solo's 17-year-old nephew told police she was upset and appeared to have been drinking when she arrived at a family gathering. She and her nephew got into a fistfight after arguing about his acting aspirations and she called him fat and crazy, according to court documents. When the boy's mother tried to break up the confrontation, Solo punched her in the face, the documents said.

The nephew broke a broom over Solo's head and the teen pointed a broken BB gun at her and tried to get her to leave, the documents said.

The boy told police, "We just let her back into our lives," and said Solo "always does this."

"Hope is not guilty of any crime," Maybrown said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday. "In fact, our investigation reveals that Hope was assaulted and injured during this unfortunate incident. We look forward to the opportunity to present the true facts in court and to having this matter behind Hope very soon."

Solo's husband, former Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, was also in the courtroom Monday but declined to speak to the media.

Stevens and Solo were married in 2012. He was arrested just before their wedding for investigation of assault after a disturbance involving Solo, but he was not charged. Maybrown represented Stevens in that case.

Solo said soon afterward that there never was an assault and that she and her new husband were happy.

The 32-year-old Solo has won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. women's national team and also plays with the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League.

Statements from both the team and U.S. soccer said they were aware of the situation but did not have any further comment.

Solo most recently appeared in goal for the U.S. women's team in an exhibition against France on June 14 in Tampa, Florida.

Solo had her fourth shutout of the year and the 71st of her career in the 1-0 U.S. victory, matching the national team record set by Briana Scurry.

She did not appear in the team's second match against France on Thursday night in East Hartford, Connecticut, because of a "family commitment" the team said. Ashlyn Harris started in Solo's place for the 2-all draw.

The U.S. women's team does not have any additional matches planned at this time before October's CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

Despite the team's success on the international stage in recent years, the U.S. women haven't won a World Cup title since 1999

____

AP Sports Writer Anne Peterson contributed to this story from Portland, Oregon.
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Kristen Stewart Reportedly Suing Joan Rivers Over Rupert Sanders Joke

Kristen Stewart probably won't be waiting in line to purchase a copy of Joan Rivers' new book, "Diary of a Mad Diva."

Stewart reportedly moved to take legal action against Rivers over a passage in the comedian's book about the actress' affair with "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders. In her book, which is due out next month, Rivers wrote: "Many stars only do one thing well. Of course, the best one-trick-pony is Kristen Stewart, who got a whole career by being able to juggle a director's balls."

"I am now being sued by Kristen Stewart," Rivers told a TMZ cameraman. "She obviously didn't read our disclaimer, which says it's a comedy book. I can't wait to get her into court because I'm gonna get a puppet and I want her to show me on the puppet where she thinks I claim she touched her director. I am looking forward to it."

"Her lawyer contacted my lawyer, which shows the sense of humor she has," the 81-year-old continued. "My answer to her was, 'Be glad you're not a Kardashian because they're mentioned a lot more in the book' ... I'm a comedian. I've been doing it for 50 years. If people don't get it, then don't come and see me. It's okay. Don't read the book. If you're gonna take it seriously, you're a fool."

Earlier this month, The New York Post's Page Six was the first to report on Rivers' jab at Stewart in her new memoir, and Stewart certainly isn't the only celebrity to get roasted between the pages. The "Fashion Police" host also takes aim at Lena Dunham, Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Aniston and Miley Cyrus, according to the New York Daily News.
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Kim and Khloe Kardashian Seek Interns Via Twitter

Kim and Khloe Kardashian need interns, people, and they're opening up the exclusive search to ... their combined 32 million Twitter followers.

In a move that will not exactly weed out the disqualified, the sisters took to Twitter to advertise their need for window display interns at the New York City location of their clothing store:







Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian founded the original Dash boutique in Los Angeles in 2006, and have since opened stores in Miami, Manhattan, and as of earlier this summer, a pop-up version in Southampton, New York.

There's been no word about whether the sisters are hiring for the Long Island location, but with the NYC store just a train ride away, the chosen ones may want to pull out the intern stops to try to and wiggle their way into a poolside party with Scott Disick.
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Rian Johnson Will Reportedly Follow J.J. Abrams As Next ‘Star Wars’ Director

According to Deadline.com, Rian Johnson ("Looper") will direct "Star Wars: Episode VIII", replacing "Episode VII" director J.J. Abrams for the franchise's next installment. Deadline.com also reported that Johnson will take on the directing duties for "Episode IX," but that part of the story was countered by TheWrap, which noted that Johnson would only write a script treatment for the ninth "Star Wars" film.

HuffPost Entertainment contacted representatives for Johnson; this story will be updated if and when they respond on the record.

Johnson, who is very active on Twitter, posted a video from "The Right Stuff" shortly after the news broke. The scene includes the famous line, "Dear lord, please don't let me fuck up."




While Johnson didn't cite "Star Wars" by name in that tweet, he has discussed the beloved series in the past. During an interview in 2012 with HuffPost Entertainment, Johnson explained why he wished director George Lucas' original "Star Wars" film was more readily available than its special edition:

I mean, think about if we couldn't see the original 'King Kong' and see that original effects work because someone in the '50s had decided that that looked phony with the stop-motion and they've rotoscoped over it with a man in a suit. Imagine wanting to do effects and wanting to study the work of those guys, wanting to see how it was done then and literally not being able to. [...] It's film preservation, in my mind. And it's a pretty dire one. I guess we all kind of assume and hope that there's prints in a vault somewhere that will come out. I'm sure there are, but I don't know. And I don't know Lucas. I'm sure he's been asked about it. I'd be curious to hear his take on that, because he's been such a champion of film preservation. He came out against the colorization, so I know that his heart's in the right place about it.


Johnson is best known for his three feature films ("Looper," "The Brothers Bloom" and "Brick") and for directing multiple episodes of "Breaking Bad."

"Star Wars: Episode VII" is filming now. John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis, Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie and original cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will appear in the film. (Ford recently broke his leg on set and will miss the next eight weeks of production.) According to sources close to Johnson, Ram Bergman, producer on Johnson's previous three films, will join the "Star Wars" franchise in that capacity as well.

To check out the original report from Deadline.com, head here.
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