5/29/2013 3:51:00 PM Whooping cough numbers up in Grant County
Public health nurses at the Grant County Health District (GCHD) continue to investigate cases of whooping cough (pertussis). If you or a family member have an unexplained cough (with no other symptoms of illness), please see your medical provider for testing and treatment. Grant County has seen a spike in cases of whooping cough in the past 25 days. Cases range in age from 1 to 18 years old. "Pertussis is highly contagious and can be deadly for the most vulnerable, including the very young, the very old and those with weakened immune systems," Shawta Sackett, GCHD epidemiologist and community public health manager, said. To help control the spread of disease, the Grant County Health District and several local clinics are offering free Tdap vaccine for uninsured Grant County adults (or adults whose health insurance does not cover the cost of the vaccine) who have close contact with infants and young children. "If you think you qualify for this program, first contact your healthcare provider," Carol Schimke, immunization coordinator and public health nurse, said. "If you do not have a healthcare provider or your provider does not have the free Tdap vaccine, please contact us at the Moses Lake Office at (509) 766-7960." Due to the increasing number of whooping cough cases in Grant County and the state, contact your health care provider if you are coughing or are concerned you may have been exposed to whooping cough. It is very important that you stay home and away from other people while waiting for test results or for five days while you are taking medication if your doctor tells you that you have whooping cough. The Grant County Health District reminds residents: * If you or a family member has been exposed to whooping cough, take your entire prescription of antibiotics. The last bacteria that causes pertussis in your body is often the hardest to kill and requires your entire prescription to kill the bacteria. * If you are not vaccinated against pertussis, get vaccinated as soon as possible. * If you are coughing, ask your healthcare provider about being tested for pertussis. * It is possible to get sick with pertussis more than once. Get vaccinated. * If you have an infant or young child, ask every person who cares for your child if they are up to date on their Tdap vaccination. * If you have a cough without other symptoms, please call your doctor.