County health dept. informs public about Tdap vaccine
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[August 27, 2012]
Pertussis, or whooping cough,
cases are on the rise across the state and nation. The Logan County
Department of Public Health reminds parents that their sixth- and
ninth-grade students are required to be immunized against tetanus,
diphtheria and pertussis, and it would also be a good time to check on
the Tdap vaccination status of the entire family, including the
"Vaccination is the best way to prevent pertussis," said Dianna
Heyer, director of nursing at the health department. Heyer said that
infants are the most vulnerable and are often exposed to pertussis
by a close, direct contact and are more likely to develop
complications from the illness.
According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of deaths due to
pertussis occur among infants younger than 3 months of age.
Tdap vaccine is recommended for the
Women in the third
or late second trimester (20th week or more) of their pregnancy.
are close contacts of infants younger than 12 months of age --
for example, parents, guardians, grandparents, babysitters,
nannies, teachers, health care providers and those who have not
previously received the Tdap vaccine.
Other adults who are not close contacts
of children younger than 12 months of age are still recommended
to receive a one-time dose of the Tdap vaccine. After your
initial dose of Tdap, you'll need the Td booster every 10 years.
But you don't need to wait to get the Tdap vaccine if you have
recently been vaccinated with the Td booster.
Pertussis begins with cold symptoms and a cough that becomes much
worse over a period of one to two weeks. The symptoms can occur five
to 10 days after exposure, but can take as long as 21 days. The
cough can become severe enough to cause "spasms of coughing," which
make it difficult to breathe. Some patients cough so hard they vomit
after a coughing episode. A "whoop" sound may occur from breathing
in after an attack. Patients may have difficulty sleeping due to
This type of coughing is not severe in every case. Some
adolescents and adults may demonstrate a milder form of the illness,
so mild they don't even think they are sick. However, if they are
coughing and sneezing, they could be spreading pertussis.
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Heyer reminds the public: "If you are experiencing cold or cough
illness, you should avoid close contact with infants if at all
possible. Covering your cough, disposing of tissues properly and
frequent hand-washing are important ways to prevent the spread of
The health department is asking health care providers to report
suspected and confirmed cases of pertussis immediately so that
appropriate follow-up of close contacts can begin and help prevent
the disease from spreading. Anyone exhibiting an acute cough illness
should consult with their health care provider.
Tdap vaccine is available at the health department for children
eligible for vaccine through the Vaccine for Children program.
Children with health insurance that pays for immunizations should
consult with their medical provider. Tdap is available to adults for
[Text from file received from
Logan County Department of Public