• What is • Who’s at • What can Pertussis? Risk? we do?
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is apotentially deadly bacterial infection thatcan strike at any age, but is particularlydangerous for babies. The sounds of pertussisare like no other, marked by a “whoop” madewhen gasping for breath after a severecoughing attack. cdc.gov
Pertussis can be a serious illness, particularly for babies and young children. More than 50% of babies with reported cases of pertussis must be hospitalized. Coughing can be so severe that it is hard for babies to eat, drink or breathe. Babies may bleed behind the eyes and in the brain from coughing. The most common complication is bacterial pneumonia. About 1 child in 10 with pertussis also gets pneumonia, and about 1 in every 50 will have convulsions. Brain damage occurs in 1 out of every 250 children who get pertussis. Pertussis causes about 10-20 deaths each year in the United States. cdc.gov
6000500040003000 Oregon Washington20001000 0 2010 2011 2012 Oregon Health Department Washington Department of Health Services
Infants less than six months old adolescents young adults
Whooping cough is thought to be on the risefor two main reasons. The whooping coughvaccine you receive as a child eventually wearsoff. This leaves most teenagers and adultssusceptible to the infection during an outbreak— and there continue to be regular outbreaks.In addition, children arent fully immune towhooping cough until theyve received at leastthree shots, leaving those 6 months andyounger at greatest risk of contracting theinfection. Mayo Clinic
The best way to prevent whooping cough is with the pertussis vaccine, which doctors often give in combination with vaccines against two otherserious diseases — diphtheria and tetanus. Doctors recommend beginning vaccination during infancy.
Adolescents. Because immunity from the pertussis vaccine tends to wane by age 11, doctors recommend a booster shot at that age to protect against whooping cough (pertussis), diphtheria and tetanus. Adults. Some varieties of the every-10-year tetanus and diphtheria vaccine also include protection against whooping cough (pertussis). In addition to protecting you against whooping cough, this vaccine will also reduce the risk of your transmitting whooping cough to infants. Pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that pregnant women receive the pertussis vaccine after 20 weeks gestation. This may also give some protection to the infant during the first few months of life.
Oregon Health Department Washington Department of Health Services Mayo Clinic CDC