Public Health Dept. issues whooping cough advisory, offers free clinic
Over the past few weeks, there have been 5 laboratory confirmed cases as well as multiple suspected cases of Pertussis in Nevada County.
In response, the health department will be hosting a free Pertussis vaccination clinic on Tuesday, August 31, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Grass Valley Veteran’s building on South Auburn Street. Anyone under the age of 18, must have both bring their immunization record and be accompanied by a parent or guardian present to sign consent.
Pertussis has occurred in both children and adults. In California, this vaccine-preventable disease has claimed the lives of 8 children, all under 6 months of age. Since children this age are not yet fully vaccinated, the best way to protect them is to have all those who are in close contact with them vaccinated.
This disease is typically seen as a childhood disease; however, people of all ages can come down with Pertussis and be at risk for complications from the disease. Infants, un-vaccinated kids of all ages, older students who have not had a booster and students who play contact sports are at a higher risk of exposure.
Pertussis starts with cold-like symptoms with low or absent fever and a cough. This state lasts approximately 1-2 weeks with the cough gradually worsening. As the illness progresses, people have spasms of coughing that are followed by a sudden deep inspiration, often resulting in a characteristic “whooping” noise. Coughing episodes can be severe enough to cause vomiting. In very young infants, the illness can cause them to stop breathing. Coughing can last for several months. In adults, the illness may appear as a prolonged cold with a persistent cough.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from getting Pertussis is by getting vaccinated. The County Public Health Department, in following the recommendations of the California Department of Public Health, is advising the following groups of people to be vaccinated against Pertussis:
• Infants: may begin the multi-dose series between the ages of 6-8 weeks. They will not be fully protected until completing the series.
• Women of childbearing age, before, during, and after pregnancy
• Parents, grandparents and other caregivers of infants and young children
• Children who have not been fully vaccinated.
• Anyone over the age of 7 years who has not had a booster shot;
It is important that everyone seek the advice of your personal physician to see whether a Tdap Booster shot is recommended for you and your family.
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