Grant County Infant With Whooping Cough Dies - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Grant County Infant With Whooping Cough Dies

MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Public Health staff in Grant County are investigating two confirmed cases of Whooping Cough (Pertussis) in Grant County residents. Both reports were received this week. No connection between the cases has been identified. Today, Grant County Health District received a report from Seattle's Children Hospital that one infant from Grant County with confirmed Pertussis died last night. The other child is recovering at home.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of this baby," said Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer. "Our hearts go out to the family during this very difficult time." Grant County Health District is working closely with the health care providers and those exposed to the infected children.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8,000 to 25,000 cases of Pertussis are reported each year. During the last decade, Pertussis has re-emerged as one of the most pressing public health issues due to increasing numbers of cases and lower vaccination rates. Recently, multiple outbreaks of Pertussis have been investigated in the United States, including cases in California and Idaho. From 2005-2009 Washington state had 2,636 cases of whooping cough. During this same time period Grant County had 17 cases.

About 1 in 20 infants with Pertussis get pneumonia (lung infection). About 1 in 100 infants will have convulsions. In rare cases, Pertussis can be deadly, especially in infants under a year old. Nearly all infants with Pertussis get the infection from an infected adult.
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 to help in 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.
  • All health care workers and childcare providers should be fully immunized for Pertussis.
  • The Tdap booster shot is available and recommended for people 11-64.
  • Tdap vaccine is required for 6th grade school entry.

"Many adults and adolescents, such as high school students, may not yet have had a Tdap booster," says Jeff Ketchel, Health District administrator. "Talk with your health care provider about staying current on vaccines."

Hear what Whooping Cough sounds like: www.whoopingcough.net/Whoop-child-slightwhoop.wav Washington State Department of Health: FAQ on Whooping Cough: www.doh.wa.gov/EHSPHL/factsheet/pertussis.htm

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