Since November 2016, Mesa County, CO health officials have been reported 17 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, prompting calls to to ensure the public is up-to-date on DTaP and Tdap vaccination to avoid getting sick.
Mesa County saw just one case during the same period last year.
The vast majority of cases reported are under the age of 19.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is easily preventable with vaccination. Health officials offer the following recommendations:
- Young adults between the ages of 16 and 18 who received the Tdap vaccine at ages 11 or 12 should consider getting a Tdap vaccine as soon as possible.
- Anyone 18 years or older should also consider getting a Tdap vaccination if it has been more than two years since they got a Tdap vaccination.
- Anyone spending time with a baby should receive a dose of Tdap. Babies who get whooping cough often get it from unvaccinated family members.
- Pregnant women should receive a Tdap dose during the third trimester of pregnancy. Getting this dose during each pregnancy can indirectly protect your baby or babies from whooping cough.
- Practice good handwashing and stay home if you’re sick.
“Getting vaccinated for whooping cough keeps our community protected from outbreaks of the illness, which is important for health and for family stability,” said Health Department 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.”
One thought on “Colorado: Mesa County reports increases in whooping cough”
Whooping cough is more prevalent than is often thought. Most cases of whooping cough go undiagnosed. A similar “outbreak” happened in the Midwest a number of years ago where a small county had over 20 reported cases in one month. The precipitating event was a pediatrician went from a general pediatric practice to an all-ages urgent care practice. Seeing adult patients who had been coughing for more than a couple weeks, he did what every pediatrician is trained to do: he tested for whooping cough. Suddenly he created an outbreak of whooping cough. Since then the adult booster vaccine became available, which I would highly recommend.