In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Rockland County, New York, health officials report that as of Friday, 95 confirmed measles cases have been reported.
In addition to measles, county health officials are now reporting another vaccine preventable disease, pertussis, or whooping cough.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are informing residents there have been several confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in Rockland County in the past several weeks.
Seven cases of pertussis, also known as “whooping cough” were recently confirmed in individuals from various communities throughout the county and across a large age range. Pertussis cases in Rockland County have been on the decline since at least 2015, with current confirmed totals less than the total number in each of the prior three years (2015-2017).
The most effective way to prevent pertussis is to receive pertussis containing vaccinations such as DTaP – diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis for small children, or Tdap – tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis for adolescents and adults. This is different from MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. Parents, siblings, grandparents, child care providers, health care personnel, or anyone who could have contact with an infant younger than 12 months of age should have a dose of Tdap if they have not had a pertussis containing booster vaccine.
Pregnant women should receive a Tdap booster with each pregnancy. When the Tdap booster is administered to pregnant women late in the pregnancy, passive antibody transferred from mother to infant provides pertussis protection in the newborn’s first 6-8 weeks of life.
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Residents are advised to confirm with their health care provider that they and their family members have received all the recommended vaccines for preventable communicable diseases including but not limited to measles and pertussis. “Now is the time to make sure you and your family members are up to date on your vaccinations to help protect residents of Rockland County. We are monitoring the situation and will continue to keep residents informed about vaccine-preventable diseases in our community,” said Dr. Ruppert.
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