Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

For Immediate Release

June 22, 2015; 11:45am

DPHSS Release No. 2015-053

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) received two new laboratory confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough), in a 1 month old and 51 year old, for the week of June 14, 2015.  Epidemiologic investigation of the case to determine possible source of exposure has been initiated.  To date, a total of 19 cases of pertussis were laboratory confirmed and one epi-linked.

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.

2.  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 be vigilant for possible cases of pertussis and to promptly report suspect cases of pertussis 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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