[12/20/18] Pertussis Alert

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 Okanogan County Public Health has 13 confirmed cases of Pertussis (whooping cough) in the Oroville, Tonasket, and Omak area.

 Vaccination is necessary to stop or slow its spread of the disease. The whooping cough vaccine is the best protection for yourself, your family, and especially small babies, who can develop serious complications from this disease.

Pregnant women and babies are most at risk – talk to your healthcare provider about how to get your whooping cough shot.  

 As a parent, there is nothing more important than safeguarding your child’s health. That’s why you should know the facts about whooping cough (pertussis) and the vaccine that protects against it. Make sure your family gets the right dose at the right time.

Whooping cough is a very contagious respiratory disease. It’s spread by coughing or sneezing. Whooping cough is most dangerous for babies. They can get it from adults or other children who have whooping cough. Babies can have severe coughing spells that make it hard to breathe. Whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

The best tool for protection is the whooping cough vaccine. In addition to the vaccine, make sure that you and your child wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home and away from others when you are sick. It is especially important to protect babies and pregnant moms. If you suspect that you or your child have whooping cough, seek immediate medical care.

Who should get the vaccine and when should they get it?

Babies get a dose at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months. At 4-6 years of age, they should receive a 5th dose and then again at 11 or 12 years. Newborn babies can’t get a whooping cough vaccine until they are 6 weeks old. The best way to protect babies is for pregnant women to get vaccinated in their third trimester, between 27 to 36 weeks.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or local health department to find out more about the vaccine and where you can get it. Washington State provides all recommended vaccines at no cost for kids through age 18, available from providers across the state.

Call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or go to ParentHelp123.org to find a healthcare provider or immunization clinic.

For more information, visit the Washington State Department of Health at www.doh.wa.gov/whoopingcough or visit the Okanogan County website @ www.okanogancounty.org/ochd