Kittitas County Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
King County infant dies of pertussis: Heartbreaking loss of life is a reminder that pregnant mothers and family members should be immunized to protect newborns and young babies
Kittitas County, WA - 12/20/2012 - On December 13, 2012 a newborn King County child died from pertussis, which is commonly known as whooping cough. This is the first death due to pertussis in 2012. There were two infant deaths due to pertussis in 2011.
Pertussis is a very contagious airborne disease and infants under the age of one are at the highest risk for serious illness, hospitalization, and death. The likelihood of getting pertussis can be reduced with a widely available vaccine (Tdap). New recommendations indicate that women should be revaccinated with Tdap every pregnancy because protection is passed from mother to baby. Vaccinating the mother, ideally between week 27 and 36 of her pregnancy, provides temporary immunity until the baby is old enough to get immunized, beginning at two months of age.
Assuring that all family members and other close contacts are up-to-date with their pertussis vaccine provides additional security, or a “cocoon” around vulnerable babies. Persons with cold or cough symptoms should stay away from babies because even people with mild symptoms can spread pertussis, influenza, and other infections.
In addition to women with each pregnancy, Tdap is recommended for all adults and teens 11 years of age and older if they have not received it previously. Children under 11 years should be up-to-date with their childhood pertussis vaccinations.
The Tdap vaccine is available at clinics and pharmacies around Kittitas County. It is available at no cost to uninsured and underinsured adults at the Kittitas County Public Health Department and many clinics in the county. Please call (509) 962-7515 for more information on getting the Tdap vaccine.
This year’s pertussis outbreak reached epidemic levels both in Kittitas County and across Washington State. As of December 15, 2012, there have been 4,658 cases of pertussis reported statewide, compared to 781 cases during the same time period in 2011. Seventy infants have been hospitalized. Kittitas County has had 41 cases of pertussis in 2012 compared to only 6 cases in 2011.
Read the full press release:12.20.12 Media release --Pertussis infant death in King County 41 KB
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
Contact (media only): Robin Read, Public Information Officer, 509-962-7515, email@example.com