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Tag Archive | "whooping cough"

MDHHS reporting an  increase in pertussis, recommends vaccination


HEA-Pertussis

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is supporting the Oakland County Health Division following an increase in the number of identified pertussis cases, commonly referred to as whooping cough.

“Pertussis is a contagious disease that easily spreads between people and can be difficult to diagnose,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the MDHHS. “We support the proactive efforts of the Oakland County Health Division in ensuring residents are aware of this increase and the steps they can take to protect themselves and their children.”

Anyone exposed to pertussis and displaying symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor to determine if antibiotics are needed. Infants younger than 12 months are at greatest risk. Infants and children who have not been fully vaccinated against pertussis are at a higher risk of developing severe illness. To be fully immunized, doses are given at 2, 4, 6, and 15 months. The last dose is given at 4 years old.

Pertussis is a very contagious disease that usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. After 1 to 2 weeks, severe coughing can begin. Pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and people are forced to inhale with a loud “whooping” sound. In infants, the cough can be minimal or not even there. Other symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Mild fever
  • Dry cough
  • Vomiting after coughing fits

People infected with pertussis can spread the disease by coughing or sneezing in close contact with others who breathe in the bacteria. Pertussis is most contagious during the first two weeks of illness.

Infants are at highest risk of severe disease and death; older siblings and adults often are the source.

Infants and children should receive pertussis vaccine series (DTaP) as per the U.S. recommended childhood immunization schedule. All doses should be given as close to the recommended ages as possible. A pertussis vaccine booster dose (Tdap) is recommended for adolescents and adults, and is especially important for those in contact with infants. Current recommendations call for a single lifetime Tdap booster dose with the following exception: a dose of Tdap is recommended for pregnant females in each pregnancy between weeks 27 and 36.

For more information about pertussis, visit www.cdc.gov/pertussis.

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Officials urge residents to vaccinate against whooping cough


As Michigan continues to see new pertussis cases this year, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is reminding residents during National Immunization Awareness Month of the importance of being up to date on all vaccinations including pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Through the end of July, Michigan has seen 546 cases, about 45 percent more than in the same period of 2013. Several other states, including Ohio, California, and Florida, are reporting similar increases.
“Children are routinely recommended to receive a series of pertussis vaccine doses in infancy and early childhood,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive of MDCH. “Adolescents and adults should receive a booster dose of the vaccine. In addition, pregnant women should get a booster in the third trimester of each pregnancy to help protect newborns, who are most vulnerable to the illness in the first few months of life.”
Pertussis is a respiratory infection caused by a bacterium that results in a prolonged illness. Severe coughing episodes are often accompanied by vomiting and difficulty breathing.  In some cases, a characteristic “whooping” noise is heard as the afflicted person tries to catch their breath. Once extremely common, vaccines developed in the US starting in the mid-1940s and helped drive down the occurrence of pertussis. But in recent decades, pertussis has been making a comeback.
“Part of the challenge,” Davis explained, “is that immunity to pertussis wears off, so getting a booster vaccine dose later in life can help extend the protection. Our primary focus is on preventing the disease in babies; they have smaller airways and less developed respiratory systems, which puts them at higher risk for severe cases as well as hospitalization and death from pertussis.”
Babies get a first dose of the vaccine at two months of age, but they are not optimally protected until completing the series of several more doses over the next year and half. MDCH strongly recommends that adults or adolescents who will be around infants receive the recommended pertussis booster vaccine dose, and that all residents receive their vaccines on time.
If you are uncertain about whether you or your children have had all recommended vaccines and doses, speak with your doctor or contact your local health department. For more information about pertussis, or any recommended or required vaccine, visit www.michigan.gov/immunize.

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