MENDOCINO Co., 5/11/18 — One case of pertussis, usually known as whooping cough, has been reported in Mendocino County this year, and three more suspected cases have occurred. The Mendocino County Health and Human Services department has issued a release warning that the California Department of Public Health is predicting an “epidemic” year of whooping cough. Such an epidemic might meaning several thousand to over 10,000 cases this year. In 2014 two infants died of the disease.
Luckily whooping cough can be prevented with a vaccine, which children receive — though adults who have not had one in 10 years should consider a booster.
Here’s the full press release from HHSA:
What You Need to Know About Pertussis
What is pertussis (aka whooping cough) and why is it such a problem that Public Health is concerned? The California Department of Public Health predicts that 2018-19 could be epidemic years for pertussis. Since the beginning of 2018, Mendocino County reported one confirmed case and three suspected cases of pertussis. In order to protect you and your family, learn what you can do to help prevent outbreaks.
What is pertussis?
Pertussis is a bacterial infection of the lungs that begins with symptoms of a cough and runny nose lasting for one to two weeks. Afterwards, symptoms will progress into rapid coughing fits followed by a high pitched “whoop” sound that occurs when a person is struggling to take in a breath. Unlike other respiratory illnesses, fever is not usually seen. People with these symptoms should see their health care provider as soon as possible for testing and treatment.
Who can get pertussis?
Anyone can become ill with pertussis. However, infants younger than 6 months of age and the elderly are the most vulnerable to serious complications. Prevention is key when it comes to controlling the spread of pertussis. The most effective prevention against pertussis is vaccination.
How can I protect myself and my family?
If you or your family member is sick, stay home and avoid contact with others until you have finished treatment. Pertussis vaccines are available for all age ranges. The childhood vaccine is called “DTaP” and the pertussis booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called “Tdap”. Both vaccines also protect against tetanus and diphtheria.
- It is recommended children get five doses of DTaP vaccine at the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, and 4-6 years.
- The Tdap booster vaccine is recommended at 11-12 years of age and for adults who have not previously received a dose within the last 10 years.
- IMPORTANT: It is recommended that pregnant women receive an additional Tdap booster vaccine during each pregnancy, regardless of vaccination history. Vaccination of the mother during weeks 27-36 of pregnancy offers protection for the baby until they are old enough to receive the vaccine themselves.The best places to get vaccinated are at your primary care provider, clinics or pharmacies. To find vaccine locations in Mendocino County, use https://vaccinefinder.orgor contact Mendocino County Public Health at 707-472-2600.