(Mason City) – The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health has confirmed 22 suspected or lab confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in the county. Disease Prevention Specialists encourage individuals to follow the guidelines to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
“Individuals that are being tested for pertussis need to be on antibiotics for five days before going ANYWHERE in public,” explains Karen Crimmings, Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health Disease Prevention and Investigation Service Manager. “If individuals with pertussis do not follow this guideline, they are putting infants and young children at risk.”
Pertussis is highly contagious and can be serious, even deadly for infants. Adolescents and adults who have not received a pertussis-containing vaccination since childhood are no longer immune to the illness; leaving them at risk to spread the disease to young children if they become ill with pertussis.
The Health Department is also encouraging individuals who have a persistent cough to contact their medical provider to be checked for pertussis. The cough may have the following symptoms:
- Cause coughing ‘fits,’ making it difficult to breathe.
- Be more severe at night interfering with sleep.
- Causes vomiting.
- End with a high-pitched ‘whoop’ sound when breathing in after a series of coughs (this is most common among young children).
Individuals in need of the vaccine should contact their medical provider or their local health department. The Cerro Gordo County Public Health Department’s Immunization Clinic offers the Tdap vaccine. The Immunization Clinic is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM – noon and 12:30 – 4:00 PM.