The Iowa Globe-Gazette is reporting an outbreak of whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis) in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa which has risen to 78 suspected or laboratory-confirmed cases since May 16, 2012. Disease-prevention specialists with the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health have encouraged residents to follow guidelines to preserve the safety and health of people in the area.
According to to Karen Crimmings, a disease prevention and investigation service manager for the department,
We recommend people seek medical attention if they are experiencing a persistent cough. It’s very important that individuals being tested for pertussis finish five days of antibiotics before going anywhere in public.
Crimmings said that 78 cases is a fairly significant number of cases for the area, but that the spreading of the illness appears to be slowing down at the local level.
Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that can be lethal for infants, especially those who are too young to have received the pertussis vaccine (either Tdap or DTaP) or who have not developed sufficient immunity from the vaccines. Adolescents and adults who have not gotten a pertussis vaccination since childhood are no longer immune to pertussis and can pass the disease to susceptible infants. Those adults should contact their health care provider to get vaccinated. Symptoms of pertussis include coughing fits, difficulty breathing, vomiting and coughs that end with a high-pitched whoop sound when inhaling after multiple coughs.
Vaccines save lives.