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Health Department Sees Pertussis Cases Double in One Week

(Mason City) – The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health has confirmed 48 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.

“We continue to see increases in pertussis cases,” said Betty Krones, Disease Prevention Specialist at the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health. “Our concern is that individuals are not taking this illness seriously. If you develop a cough, please isolate yourself from others and call your physician.”

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 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.

For more information about immunizations, please visit our website at or call (641) 421-9324.

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