Whooping Cough Diagnosed

April 8, 2010

This public service announcement is issued by Valley County Health System. 

One case of whooping cough was recently confirmed at Valley County Health System Medical Clinic. VCHS has been in contact with the NE Health Department and Loup Basin Public Health Department and are following their recommendations for diagnosis, prevention and treatment. 

Whooping cough, formally known as Pertussis, is a respiratory infection that usually starts like a cold with sneezing, runny nose, and sometimes a mild cough or fever.  After 1-2 weeks it develops into severe attacks of coughing that can last for another 1-6 weeks.  Most adults do not get very ill with this disease, but it is highly contagious through droplet transmission produced from a cough or sneeze.  Most susceptible are infants and young children who have not completed their initial vaccination series.

Vaccination is the cornerstone of pertussis prevention and control.  Infants should receive a DTaP vaccine at 2, 4, and 6 months of age, followed by booster DTaP shots at 12-15 months of age and at 5 years of age.  All persons over 10 and less than 65 years of age should receive a single does of a pertussis-containing vaccine, called Tdap.  Vaccination is 80-90% effective in preventing clinical illness. A five day course of azithromycin, now available as a generic drug, is the preferred antibiotic for both treatment of cases, and prophylaxis of contacts.

For more information, contact Ord Family Health Center at 308.728.3606 or Loup Basin Public Health Department at 1.866.522.5795.