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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Indian River County

Health Department warns against Whooping Cough
Rating: 3.58 / 5 (19 votes)  
Posted: 2013 May 24 - 06:52

For Hometown News

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Whooping Cough, also known as pertussis (Bordetella pertussis), is a serious illness that could potentially affect anyone.

Indian River County Health Department has recently confirmed two adult cases of pertussis.

"Two cases are significant when you take into account the seriousness of this disease, the ease at which it spreads, and the fact that no cases have been confirmed in our county in three years," said Maureen Feaster, Indian River County Health Department nurse consultant and epidemiology supervisor.

Pertussis is highly contagious. Control and prevention among adults prevents infection in infants and young children, in which it is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease. Adults with pertussis can suffer complications and require hospitalization. Therefore, proper diagnosis, appropriate treatment and prevention are important.

A typical case of pertussis starts with a cough, runny nose, sneezing and a low-grade fever. After one to two weeks, the coughing becomes more severe. Rapid coughing fits can occur that often end with a whooping sound.

Not all cases are typical, which is why Indian River County Health Department encourages residents to see their doctor if they have had a cough for three weeks or more. Pertussis is spread when infected individuals cough or sneeze while in close contact with others.

To protect against pertussis, adults are encouraged to get immunized with the Tdap vaccine. Tdap vaccine provides protection from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The Tdap vaccine is especially important for health care professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younger than twelve months. Even if infants are up to date with their vaccines, they are not yet fully protected from this potentially deadly bacterium. This is why the vaccination of adults with whom they have contact is so important.

Pertussis signs and symptoms may not always mimic what is considered typical, so take an active role in protecting yourself and get vaccinated. Adults who have had a cough for three weeks or greater are asked to see their doctor to rule out pertussis as the cause.

For more information on pertussis/Whooping Cough go to www.cdc.gov/pertussis or call the Indian River County Health Department at (772) 794-7472.

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