PERTUSSIS (Whoppping Cough)
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. The immunity from childhood vaccination wanes over time leaving adolescents susceptible. Pertussis in adolescents can be a prolonged cough illness lasting weeks to months. Petrussis outbreaks in schools with adolescents are disruptive and lead to significant public health control efforts. Kansas is experiencing a record setting year for confirmed pertussis cases.
Children under the age of l year or are not current with their immunizations are at a greater risk of getting pertussis. This age group is also at high risk for being hospitalized or even death from pertussis. It is important to follow the immunization schedule for your infants to help protect them from the vaccine preventalbe disease.
Adolescents and adults may have pertussis and only present with cold symptoms. If you have a cough that lasts longer than 2 weeks, you should see your physician and possibly have a Nasas/Pharyngeal swab done and sent to a lab to be tested for pertussis. A new vaccine (Tdap) has been licensed by the FDA as a single dose booster vaccine to provide protection againse tetanus, diphtheris, and pertussis for adolescents and adults. The Tdap is recommended in place of the routine Td for those between the age of 11 and 64 years old.
Remember to practice good handwashing, cough into the crook of your elbow, and stay home if you are sick!
If you have any questions, please call the Sumner County Health Dept. at 620-326-2774.