Anti-vaccination mum's seven children catch whooping cough

Tara Hills. Photo: Supplied

A vocal anti-immunisation mother has changed her tune after all seven of her children caught whooping cough.

Canadian woman Tara Hills declined to have her children immunised against whooping cough or pertussis. After her children fell ill, her family had to be in isolation for a week. Whooping cough causes painful and uncontrollable coughing, and it can be fatal for infants.

Ms Hills told The Washington Post she had changed her position on vaccination after battling the disease.

"I set out to prove that we were right and in the process found out how wrong we were," she said.

An anti- vaccination movement has been gaining ground in recent years due to the spread of mostly false and debunked information on the internet. As a result many diseases thought to be largely a thing of the past, such as measles and whooping cough, have made a comeback in countries like Australia, Canada and the US.

Last week Hills wrote of her change of heart in a blog for

"We stopped because we were scared and didn't know who to trust," she wrote. "Was the medical community just paid off puppets of a Big Pharma-Government-Media conspiracy? Were these vaccines even necessary in this day and age? Were we unwittingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved children? So much smoke must mean a fire, so we defaulted to the 'do nothing and hope nothing bad happens' position."

Once an outbreak of measles hit a community nearby she decided to sit down with her family doctor and put together a catch-up vaccination schedule for her children.

But it was too late. All her children came down with whooping cough. A vaccine for the disease has been available for the past 70 years.

"Right now my family is living the consequences of misinformation and fear," Hills wrote.