Public Service Announcement
Whooping cough (Pertussis) Outbreak Nationwide
Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported as of July 19 more than 18,000 pertussis cases nationwide, more than twice as many as in 2011. CDC encourages all children and adults to get vaccinated.
“Unvaccinated children are at eight time’s higher risk of getting pertussis compared to children who have been fully vaccinated,” said Schuchat. “Vaccinated kids who do develop pertussis have a milder course. They’re also less infectious in spreading the illness than unvaccinated children.”
“Pertussis, whooping cough is an upper respiratory infection caused by bacteria. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing bacteria moves through the air, the disease passes easily from person to person. The name comes from the noise you make when you take a breath after you cough. You may have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit.” said Dr. Ellen Ketterling, pediatrician at West River Health Services.
“Infants from birth to six months are at the highest risk for pertussis (whooping cough), said Ketterling; Infants most often catch whooping cough from family members and friends.”
For more information www.cdc.gov/pertussis or contact your local healthcare provider.