Pertussis epidemic continues
Do you need a booster?
Pertussis –also known as whooping cough – remains a problem in the Anoka-Hennepin School District and throughout the seven-country metro area, according to public health experts. The Minnesota Department of Public Health declared it to be an epidemic in the metro area.
Health experts urge families to make sure their pertussis immunizations are up-to-date:
· Infants should be vaccinated starting at age two months.
· A whooping cough booster (Tdap vaccine) should be given to children age 10 and older.
· All adults should have a current booster, especially those who work with children or care for infants and toddlers.
If your family needs pertussis immunizations but you do not have insurance coverage call 763-323-6100 in Anoka County or 612-348-2741 in Hennepin County.
Pertussis immunizations are not 100% effective, so it is also important to keep up good habits that prevent spread of disease:
· Wash hands often.
· Cough into a tissue or sleeve.
· Stay home when ill.
Pertussis is highly contagious. The first symptoms are similar to a cold, but after a week or two, the cough worsens and begins to occur in sudden, uncontrollable bursts that often make it difficult to breathe.
Even after beginning antibiotics, a person with pertussis can continue to spread the disease, so it is important for those with the disease to stay home from work or school five days. Coughing may last several months.
The current outbreak seems to be targeting those over age 10, which is why it is important for older children, teens and adults to get boosters. Pertussis is especially serious in infants and young children so it is extra important for adults who care for them to have up-to-date immunizations.
For more information on pertussis call your health care provider or 763-422-6965.