Whooping Cough Outbreak Declared By Grant County Health Officer - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whooping Cough Outbreak Declared By Grant County Health Officer

GRANT COUNTY, Wash. - The Grant County Health Officer, Dr. Alexander Brzezny, has declared a Pertussis outbreak in Grant County. New cases of Whooping Cough (Pertussis) in Grant County residents are being investigated by Public Health staff. The first case was reported August 23.

"This demonstrates that Grant County has an ongoing presence of Pertussis beyond just clusters and we must be prepared to see more cases in the future," says Dr. Brzezny. "If visiting your medical provider to get your flu shot, check to make sure you are fully immunized for Pertussis."

At this time last year, Grant County had two confirmed Pertussis cases.

Children are the most vulnerable to Pertussis. All adults who spend time with infants or children should make sure they are fully immunized against Pertussis. Children start receiving their Pertussis immunizations during their first year of life and they are not fully protected until they receive their fifth dose between the ages of four and six. Adults need one Tdap vaccine booster. Nearly all infants with Pertussis get the infection from an infected adult.

The Grant County Health District is working closely with health care providers and those exposed to the infected individuals.

Across the United States, Pertussis rates have been rising the past few years, specifically in western states such as California, Idaho, and now some parts of Washington.

A typical case of Pertussis starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes ends with a whooping sound. Fever is rare. Unfortunately, young infants are less likely to have a notable cough. Caregivers and health care providers should consider the possibility of Pertussis in infants with coughs or colds, breath-holding spells or turning blue, to help prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Grant County Health Officer reminds residents:

  • Pertussis is a vaccine preventable disease. Children should get five DTaP vaccinations between two months of age and when they start school.
  • Because immunity from Pertussis vaccine or disease wears off, family members and caregivers of infants should make sure they are up to date with their Pertussis vaccinations.
  • To protect their babies, women should get the Tdap booster before, during or immediately after pregnancy. Benefits and risks of getting Tdap booster during pregnancy should be discussed with their provider first.
  • All health care workers, school staff, and childcare providers should be fully immunized for Pertussis. This applies to some individuals over 65 years old.
  • The Tdap booster shot is available and recommended for people 10 and older.
  • Tdap vaccine is required for 6th-9th grade school entry.

 

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