Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is in Our State
You may have been hearing in the news about a pertussis epidemic in Washington State. Pertussis is also known as “whooping cough”. It is a disease caused by a certain bacteria. Pertussis is spread through sneezing and coughing. This disease is of high concern in infants because they are too young to get the vaccination. Infants with pertussis may eat poorly, turn blue, or stop breathing. Infants are also at highest risk for severe pertussis complications that require hospitalization such as difficulty breathing, pneumonia, convulsions, and even death.
Whooping cough vaccines are recommended for all children and adults. The shots children get wear off over time. Everyone age 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster, called Tdap. It’s especially important for anyone who has close contact with babies younger than 12 months to get a Tdap vaccine. This will help protect the baby from whooping cough. Pregnant women should ask their doctors about the vaccination.
It is important to contact your doctor if you or someone in your family:
· Has a persistent cough that lasts more than 2 weeks OR
· Has a cough that occurs in “spells” followed by difficulty breathing or gagging
Consider talking to health care provider or our school nurse, Lynne Carveth, if you have questions or concerns.