4/17/2018 – SALT LAKE COUNTY(News4Utah) Right now, Salt Lake County is dealing with an outbreak of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough. It’s affecting students at several schools. Annie George, MPH, with the Salt Lake County Health Department, joined Brian Carlson, to talk about how you can protect your kids.
In the last few weeks, the Health Department has seen 14 confirmed cases of pertussis (also known as whooping cough) across 3 schools in the Draper area (Corner Canyon High School: 9 cases; Draper Park Middle School: 2 cases; Oak Hollow Elementary: 3 cases).
Pertussis is often cyclical in a community. George says they tend to see cases of it every 5-6 years, and we are on schedule this year and next for more cases to appear. So, it’s very important that you watch for signs of pertussis (runny nose, low fever, persistent cough), and if you see any, visit your health care provider. Especially if the cough lingers for weeks or months.
Pertussis is not usually a serious illness for adults and older children, but it can be deadly in infants.
Infants don’t receive the first dose of the pertussis vaccine until they’re 2 months old, so it is essential that everyone around a newborn is vaccinated, so the baby is protected. The effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine does wane over time, so consider receiving a booster if you’re going to be around a newborn.
You can get the vaccine at your health care provider, a local pharmacy, or from a Salt Lake County immunization clinic. Appointments at Salt Lake County Health Department clinics are available by calling 385-468-SHOT (7468).
Visit SLCO.org/Health for more information.