Topic: whooping cough
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September 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM
LONGVIEW (AP) —Washington health officials report that whooping cough has declined significantly this year over last year.
The Daily News reports that by mid-July this year, there were 419 cases of whooping cough or pertussis in Washington state. That’s down considerably from the same period in 2012 when 3,237 cases were reported.
State health officials say 14 Washington counties have reported no pertussis at all this year.
December 18, 2012 at 9:47 AM
King County officials a newborn has died of whooping cough.
It’s the first death from whooping cough in Washington this year.
The infant died Thursday. Health officials did not identify the family, nor any details about where the family lived.
This year there have been 757 confirmed cases of pertussis reported among King County residents, the highest number the county has seen in over a decade, according to Public Health Seattle & King County.
Infants are at the highest risk for serious illness, hospitalization or death from whooping cough. County officials say that vaccinating the mother, ideally between week 27 and 36 of her pregnancy, provides temporary immunity until the baby, at 2 months of age, is old enough to be immunized.
Health officials say that family members and other close contacts should be up-to-date with their pertussis vaccines as well.
July 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM
From Staff Reporter Kibkabe Araya:
A rise in whooping cough cases among teens suggests that the pertussis vaccine may be wearing off sooner than expected, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
After Washington state declared an epidemic in April, the CDC sent investigators here to learn the reason for the spike in cases. The investigation revealed a surprising number of cases among young teens, leading researchers to believe that pertussis vaccines can start to wear off by age 10.
Still, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, the vaccine offers very effective protection for several years.
The state continues to advise residents — adults and children — to get vaccinated. Nationally, 8 percent of adults have been vaccinated against pertussis.
“Vaccines have done a good job in protecting against pertussis, but our vaccines are not perfect,” Schuchet said during a Thursday teleconference with state Health Secretary Mary Selecky. “They don’t last as long as we would like them to.”
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease that can be fatal for infants who cannot handle the strong, consistent cough.
Infants and children under age 7 are immunized against pertussis with the DTaP vaccine. Children who miss a shot of the DTaP five-dose series, teens and adults receive the booster shot called Tdap. Infants and young children often get pertussis from adults who have not been vaccinated.
The DTaP vaccine is relatively new – introduced to the public in 1997 — so the wave of older children and teens experiencing an unusually higher number of cases used DTaP to prevent pertussis. Before 1997, children had the DTP vaccine, which is no longer used in the United States. The switch to DTaP came after DTP caused side effects like fever and swelling at the injection point, and some children had chronic neurological issues. But studies have showed inconsistencies in supporting this theory, Schuchat said.
The CDC found more than 75 percent of infants and children nationwide
Washington state were up to date with their DTaP shots.
Also a newer vaccine, Tdap, was introduced in 2005 to better protect teens and adults from pertussis. Around 43 percent of children ages 11-12 nationwide
in the state and 77 percent of teens ages 13-19 had their Tdap shots.
The state health department reports over 3,000 cases of pertussis cases so far this year, more than three times the number of cases in all of 2011. State officials continue to push for vaccinations mostly in adults, who only have 8 percent vaccination rate nationwide.
May 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM
Adults without insurance and who cannot afford to pay can get free whooping-cough booster shots tomorrow between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Group Health Burien Medical Center.
Group Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County have partnered to provide the booster-shot clinic. Health officials urge all adults, but particularly those who have contact with infants, children and pregnant women, to make sure they’ve been vaccinated, because whooping cough is at epidemic levels in the state.
Babies are particularly at risk for severe illness, hospitalization and death from the illness, also known as pertussis.
Adults and older children can experience symptoms ranging from cold-like illness to serious illness. But the biggest danger that they can spread the whooping cough to infants, pregnant women and others who aren’t protected.
The clnic is located at 140 S.W .146th St., Burien. For more information, see Public Health – Seattle & King County.
May 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM
Bishop Blanchet High School, a private Catholic school in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood, will close tomorrow and Thursday after school officials reported that about 150 students and an unspecified number of staff members were absent.
School officials at first blamed whooping cough, also known as pertussis, but officials from Public Health – Seattle & King County said the school’s description of most students’ symptoms and of the speed of the outbreak more closely matched influenza, which is still circulating in the community.
“This sounds flu driven” said James Apa, public health spokesman. Blanchet called the agency early today, seeking guidance, Apa said.
An earlier post, based on information from Blanchet, reported that school officials attributed the outbreak to pertussis.
Dr. Jeff Duchin, the county’s communicable disease expert, said pertussis has a longer incubation period than flu and rarely results in a sudden, high absentee rate, Apa said. In addition, the symptoms school officials described sounded like flu, he said. However, Apa added, “given how much pertussis there is in the county, it is likely that there are some pertussis cases at the school.”
Normally, health officials do not advise schools to close during an outbreak, because by the time there is high absenteeism, Apa said, exposure already has been broad.
Instead, they advise the staples of disease containment: Wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home if you’re sick.
April 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM
The whooping cough epidemic continues to worsen in the state with the number of cases reaching more than 1,000 so far, according to the state Health Department.
Health officials say that at the rate things are going now, we could see as many as 3,000 cases this year, which would be the most in the state in six decades.
Teens and adults are urged to get vaccinations. Officials note that vaccination is especially important for those in close contact with babies less than 1 year old.
Here’s what state Secretary of Health, Mary Selecky had to say in a news release today:
“We’re very concerned about the risk to infants, especially because of how quickly whooping cough is spreading. Whooping cough can be life threatening for infants, and they’re too young to get enough doses of vaccine to be protected. That’s why we want everyone else to make sure they’re vaccinated against whooping cough.”
April 3, 2012 at 1:18 PM
From Staff Reporter Mary Jean Spadafora:
The Washington State Department of Health today announced a dramatic increase in reported cases of pertussis, or whooping cough.
So far this year in the state, 640 cases have been recorded, well over the 94 reported by this time last year. Health Secretary Mary Selecky said the disease has reached epidemic levels in the state.
At a morning news conference, Selecky said she wants all teens and adults to get vaccinated to help protect babies too young for the vaccine.
Pertussis is a contagious bacterial infection that causes a severe, long-lasting cough. For adults, pertussis can manifest as a mild cold with occasional coughing; for young children, especially infants, it can be severe and life threatening.
The health department plans to work with health-care providers to encourage their patients to get vaccinated.
April 3, 2012 at 6:38 AM
Weather: We said last week that it was going to rain through the end of this week, and boy, somebody got it wrong and we’re glad of it. Gotta love that sun yesterday. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the sun today, though. There’s a 90 percent chance of rain. Yeah, well, we’ll believe when we see it! The National Weather Service forecast.
Traffic: The map and cams.
We see that gasoline in the state is up to an average of $4.12 a gallon. Why, when we were young, you could buy gas for… my goodness, will gas reach $5 a gallon someday?
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Whooping cough: The state Department of Health is expected to lay out its plan today to deal with the high number of cases of whooping cough in the state.
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March 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM
The Associated Press
The number of pertussis — whooping cough — cases in Washington has risen to more than 500 cases and will likely set a record in 2012, a state Health Department spokeswoman said.
The outbreak is likely to exceed the number of about 950 cases last year and the previous record of about 1,020 in 2005, said Michele Roberts, immunization program health communication manager.
“We are really concerned about this,” she said.
Figures released Tuesday show there have been 549 cases of pertussis through March 24. That’s up 86 cases in a week. At this time in 2011 there were 88 cases in the state for the year.
There are several possible reasons for the recent increase in cases, Roberts said.
The disease is cyclical, and the vaccine most people get as children is not permanent. Rising awareness of the disease leads some adults to find out what they thought was a nagging cold and persistent cough is pertussis.
Pertussis has reached epidemic levels locally in six counties — Jefferson, Cowlitz, Kittitas, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom, Roberts said. There are 18 counties in Washington where pertussis has not been reported, but that doesn’t mean they are disease-free. It’s estimated only 10 to 15 percent of pertussis cases are reported.
The coughing spells are most serious in infants. Of the 37 babies who have had whooping cough these years in Washington 12 have been hospitalized, Roberts said.
There have been no pertussis deaths this year in Washington. Two babies died in 2011 and two babies in 2010.
“Some are very young — a month,” Roberts said. “It’s very tragic.”
Only about 10 percent of adults are immunized. They typically get the vaccine combined with a tetanus booster shot.
“You can help stop spreading disease in the community to prevent the disease in babies,” she said.
For children, a series of four shots is recommended, starting in the first 18 months and ending before entering kindergarten, the state Health Department says on its website. The pertussis vaccine is usually combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines.
Whooping cough gets its name from the sound of a coughing fit that makes it hard to breath. The coughing also can make it hard for a child to eat or drink. Vomiting can follow a long coughing spell. The disease can cause pneumonia, brain damage and death, the state website states. Pertussis is treated with antibiotics.
The outbreak in Cowlitz County has led one Longview hospital to take special precautions. PeaceHealth St. John announced Monday that patients showing symptoms — runny nose, low-grade fever and cough —may be placed in isolation. Visitors and workers displaying symptoms may be asked to leave.
Nationally the number of cases has been rising since the mid-2000s.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pertussis is common in the United States, with epidemics every 3 to 5 years. There were 27,550 cases of pertussis reported in 2010.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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