Pertussis Health Alert

Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:37 am by

San Juan County Health and Community Services Issues Pertussis Health Alert

County-LogoThree San Juan Island chil­dren have been diag­nosed with Per­tus­sis, or “whoop­ing cough.” San Juan Coun­ty Health & Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices is cur­rent­ly work­ing with the fam­i­lies of these chil­dren to inves­ti­gate the per­tus­sis cas­es. None of the chil­dren have been hospitalized.

Per­tus­sis is a high­ly con­ta­gious bac­te­r­i­al infec­tion, and is one of the most com­mon vac­cine pre­ventable dis­eases in the Unit­ed States. It usu­al­ly starts with mild cold symp­toms or a cough, which turns into severe cough­ing spells. Infants and chil­dren can cough vio­lent­ly and rapid­ly, which can cause them to inhale with a loud “whoop­ing” sound. If untreat­ed, an infect­ed per­son can spread per­tus­sis for sev­er­al weeks.

Because per­tus­sis is high­ly con­ta­gious, per­tus­sis out­breaks can occur even in vac­ci­nat­ed pop­u­la­tions, though the symp­toms tend to be less severe. Even ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple can become infect­ed with or spread pertussis.

If you or your child have symp­toms of per­tus­sis, please stay home and away from oth­er peo­ple and pub­lic set­tings until you or your child has been eval­u­at­ed by your health care provider. The best way to pro­tect against per­tus­sis is to receive a vac­cine accord­ing to cur­rent vac­ci­na­tion guide­lines. The effec­tive­ness of the vac­cine fades over time, requir­ing peri­od­ic “boost­er” vac­ci­na­tions to be as ful­ly pro­tect­ed as possible.

Now is a good time for indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­ly mem­bers to review vac­ci­na­tion records and ensure immu­niza­tions are up to date. If vac­ci­na­tions are not up to date, or you have ques­tions about vac­ci­na­tions or per­tus­sis, please con­tact your health care provider, or San Juan Coun­ty Health & Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices at 360–378-4474.

Whoop­ing Cough FAQs

Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Health — Pertussis

CDC — Per­tus­sis Information

San Juan Coun­ty Immu­niza­tion Information

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