Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

For Immediate Release

August 4, 2015; 10:30am

DPHSS Release No. 2015-066

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

The Department of Public Health and Social Services continues to receive case reports of pertussis (whooping cough).  The latest laboratory confirmed case of pertussis is a 1 year old child, reported for the week of July 26, 2015.  Epidemiologic investigations is ongoing for suspect and confirmed cases of pertussis.  To date, a total of 25 laboratory confirmed cases, one epi-linked case, and three probable cases (met the clinical case definition) of pertussis were reported.

Pertussis is a very serious disease that can easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing, severe cough can last for weeks or months, sometimes leading to coughing fits and/or vomiting.  Anyone can get pertussis, but it can be very dangerous for infants younger than 12 months old and people with weakened immune systems. 

Recommendations to prevent Pertussis:

 

  1. Vaccinate to protect.
    • Children should get five doses of the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine for best protection.  Make sure your children receive all their doses at each of the following ages: 2 months; 4 months; 6 months; 15 – 18 months; and

4 – 6 years of age.

    • All preteens, teens, and adults- including pregnant women in their third trimester- should get the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
  1. Minimize the spread.
    • Protect infants and young children by minimizing exposure (close contact) to persons who have cold symptoms or cough illness.
    • Stay home from school or work when you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Anyone suspected of having whooping cough or who is exposed to a person with the disease should be seen by their physician.

 All health care providers should remain vigilant 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.

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