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Health News :: A Message about Whooping Cough
Prevention is the key to eliminating the risk of getting whooping cough (also known as pertussis) in our community. Benton County experienced a sharp rise in the number of cases of whooping cough during the past six months. Whooping cough is very contagious and can lead to serious illness in adults, children and especially infants.
Benton County Public Health is asking all citizens to be informed about whooping cough.
Whooping cough starts out like a common cold with runny nose, sneezing, and a mild cough. Over the next 1-2 weeks the cough does not go away and usually gets worse. A person with whooping cough often times will have “coughing spells” and the coughing may be followed by a high pitched whoop, difficulty breathing, or sometimes vomiting.
Whooping cough is very contagious and can lead to serious illness in adults, children and especially infants. New parents, grandparents and childcare providers in particular need to be aware of ways to protect the health of infants.
Routine vaccination of children provides protection against whooping cough illness. Around the age of 10 years, however, the protection against whooping cough begins to decrease. A booster dose is available to protect children over the age of 11 years and adults of all ages against whooping cough disease. The vaccine is called Tdap and a single dose will provide the protection needed to reduce the risk of disease.
Other things you can do to prevent the spread of whooping cough includes:Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or the inside of your elbow Stay home when you are ill Wash your hands often with soap and warm running water or use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
Talk to your healthcare provider to see if Tdap is recommended for you.