Thursday 6 December 2012

Pertusis Outbreak Continues

Posted at 11:23 AM

Lincoln County Health Department is urging Lincoln County residents to seek pertussis vaccinations, especially in light of the counties current outbreak.

“Vaccination continues to be the best way to protect yourselves and others against pertussis,” said Mindy Schwarz, Lincoln County Public Health Nurse. “We recommend all Lincoln County residents check their vaccination status and schedule an appointment if they have not yet been immunized against pertussis.”  Call the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307, or email to check your immunization record or to make an appointment.  Cost is $5.00 for the pertussis containing vaccine.

Lincoln County is currently experiencing a widespread outbreak of the disease.  Pertussis is a contagious bacterial disease affecting the respiratory tract and is spread by coughing, often through repeated face-to-face contact. Pertussis tends to be a returning disease where case numbers may rise dramatically every four to five years.

The pertussis vaccine is given in combination with Diphtheria and Tetanus vaccines, called DTaP, and is recommended for children age two months through six years old. A pertussis vaccine for adolescents and adults, called Tdap, is recommended as a one-time booster to all individuals age 11 years and older, including the elderly.  If someone does experience pertussis after immunization, their case is usually milder.

Families with a newborn are encouraged to be immunized as part of a process called “cocooning”, where parents, siblings, grandparents and others are vaccinated to provide additional protection to the newborn, who cannot be vaccinated until they are two months old. Even at that age infants still lack adequate protection. Newborns with pertussis can experience severe complications, even death. More than half of infected infants require hospitalization.  Infants are not the only ones who rely on those around them to carry the immunity; individuals that are immune compromised also rely on others including both community and family members to carry immunity.

Pertussis can begin like a cold in infants and young children, with a low grade fever and a mild, irritating cough that can appear within seven to 20 days after coming in contact with pertussis. The illness can progress to include explosive coughing that can interrupt breathing, eating and sleeping, and may be followed by vomiting and tiredness.

Individuals with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider about antibiotic treatment that can shorten the time when they are contagious. Those with pertussis should be isolated from school, work or other activities until completing at least the first five days of the recommended antibiotic therapy.
Additional information about Pertussis in the Lincoln County Community can be found on Facebook:!/pages/Lincoln-County-Health-Department/133580893400016


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