According to Dr. Rick Johnson, Public Health Officer for Mono and Inyo counties, Inyo County recently diagnosed its second case of pertussis, or whooping cough. The patient is doing well, but whooping cough is a serious issue that is currently experiencing epidemic levels in California.
“Inyo County has experienced two laboratory proven cases, and aggressive action by providers and the Health Department has prevented any secondary cases,” Johnson said in a media brief. “This includes contact tracing, vaccination, and antibiotic prophylaxis, and focuses on those most vulnerable (young infants) by building a ‘cocoon’ of safe space around them.”
The brief went on to explain that in the first six months of this year, 1,496 cases of pertussis were reported in California, which is a five-fold increase from 2009 when 258 cases were reported in the same time period.
“In addition, approximately 700 possible cases of pertussis are under investigation,” the brief went on to say. “Six infants, all under three months of age, have died from pertussis this year. Unimmunized or incompletely immunized young infants are particularly vulnerable.”
Health experts are expanding recommendations for immunizing against pertussis and emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated. A typical case of pertussis in children and adults starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes ends with a whooping sound. Fever is rare.
For information about pertussis vaccinations contact your local health department. In particular, all family members and caregivers of infants should get the booster vaccine. To see the seriousness of pertussis visit www.shotbyshot.org and listen to Mariah’s story. Mariah gave pertussis to her infant, who ultimately ended up dying. –Press Release/LAKShare Email This Post