Whooping cough cases on the rise in Mesa County

Mesa County has seen 12 cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, in residents since Nov. 1, 2017. Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is easily preventable with vaccination. Be sure your entire family is up-to-date on DTaP and Tdap vaccination to avoid getting sick.

Cases were reported in residents between the ages of 4 and 55 with 92 percent of the cases in residents younger than 19. During this same time period last year, Mesa County had just one case of whooping cough. The increase in cases this year speaks volumes to how quickly and easily this disease can spread.

Help prevent whooping cough in our community.

  • Vaccinate yourself and your family members against this illness.
    • Babies need DTaP doses at two, four and six months of age and again between 15 and 18 months.
    • Children need another DTaP dose between the ages of four and six.
    • Children between seven and 10 years need a dose of Tdap if they’ve never been vaccinated. Children between 11 and 12 years need Tdap, as well.
    • Adults need one dose of Tdap.
    • Pregnant women should receive a Tdap dose during the third trimester of pregnancy.
  • If you’re ill, stay home – even if it means missing a holiday celebration with family.
  • Practice good handwashing. Talk with your kids about good handwashing, too.

“If you’re not sure if you or your family members have had these vaccines, give us a call,” Mesa County Public Health Clinic Manager (MCPH) Allison Sanchez said. “We can help you locate your records and get you back on-track, so that your family stays healthy.”

Whooping cough can be debilitating, sometimes lasting for up to two months, and can even be fatal for young children and infants, so vaccination is vital.

“Getting vaccinated for whooping cough keeps our community protected from outbreaks of the illness, which is important for health and for family stability,” said MCPH Executive Director Jeff Kuhr. “When a child is sick, he or she can’t go to school or child care, which means parents need to stay home. Vaccinating now will not only keep your family healthy, but it will eliminate added stress to families’ daily routines.”

Whooping cough is one of 80 communicable reportable conditions in Colorado. These reports help public health officials identify trends, track cases and, most importantly, prevent outbreaks.

Visit health.mesacounty.us to learn more about whooping cough and its symptoms.

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