The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) received another laboratory confirmed case of Pertussis (whooping cough) in a 2 month old child. Epidemiologic investigation of the cases has not shown any linkage to each other or to an off-island source. To date, a total of 4 laboratory confirmed cases of Pertussis have been reported.
Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella Pertussis. Unimmunized or incompletely immunized young infants are particularly vulnerable. It is primarily spread by direct contact with discharge from the nose and throat of infected individuals. It is essential that children receive all their vaccinations on time to prevent this disease.
The DPHSS continues to encourage parents to protect their infants and young children by minimizing exposure (close contact) to persons who have cold symptoms or cough illness. In addition, it is essential that children receive all their shots on time to prevent and control this disease. All physicians are advised to routinely check the immunization status of their patients to ensure they are appropriately vaccinated.
Recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Age Group Recommended Vaccine Recommended Schedule
< 7 years old diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) One dose at each of the following ages: 2, 4, 6 and 15-18 months and 4-6 years.
7- 10 years old tetanus diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) Children who are not fully vaccinated against whooping cough should get a single dose
11- 18 years old A single dose, preferably at age 11-12 years
19 years and up Adults who have not received Tdap previously or for whom vaccination status is unknown should receive a single dose.
Pregnant women One dose during each pregnancy (preferably during 27 – 36 weeks’ gestation). If Tdap is not given during pregnancy, administer immediately after delivery.
All health care providers on are urged to be on alert for possible cases of Pertussis and to promptly report suspect cases to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, at 735-7143/7148 or 735-7135.
For more information, please call the Immunization Program at 735-7143/7135.