|UMATILLA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT|
Pertussis Case in Umatilla County
Aug 12, 2012
Genni Lehnert-Beers, Administrator
Sharon Waldern, Clinic Supervisor
Pendleton, Ore. – Umatilla County Public Health Department has confirmed another case of Pertussis, more commonly known as “Whooping Cough”. A school age child in the east end of the county was diagnosed at the beginning of the month and attended a drop-in summer reading program at Pendleton library prior to diagnosis. Anyone that attended this program during the month of July, may have been exposed. Parents are encouraged to contact their local medical provider to have their child evaluated if they have any signs or symptoms of Pertussis.
Pertussis begins as a mild illness like the common cold. Sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever, and mild coughing progressing to severe coughing. Some persons have episodes of rapid coughing followed by a high-pitched whoop as they take a deep breath. However, not everyone with Pertussis has a whooping cough, especially very young infants. Severe cough may continue for many weeks despite proper treatment. Symptoms may be milder in older children and adults. However, Pertussis can be a serious disease, especially in infants and young children.
Pertussis is highly contagious and most infectious during the early stages and for 2 weeks after the cough starts. People get Pertussis by breathing in airborne droplets from the nose and mouth of already infected persons. It can occur at any age but can cause severe illness in non-immunized or not fully immunized infants and children. Antibiotics may be useful early in the disease. Antibiotics are particularly helpful in reducing spread of the disease to other persons. However, once severe symptoms begin, antibiotics may not have any effect on symptoms.
“The best protection against Pertussis is immunizing with DTaP or Tdap vaccines” states Genni Lehnert-Beers, Public Health Administrator “it’s important to know that immunizations do not always provide 100% protection against disease for everyone, especially if more than 5 years has elapsed since the last shot”. The health department encourages you to review your immunization status to determine if you or your child needs a booster of DTap or Tdap. Those who attended the Pendleton Library drop in summer reading program are especially encouraged to verify their vaccination status.
Umatilla County has confirmed 8 cases of Pertussis since January 1, 2012.
More information can be found at the CDC website: www.cdc.gov