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15 Confirm Cases of Pertussis in Jefferson County, 7 Suspect Cases

There are 15 confirm cases of Pertussis and 7 suspect cases identified from May 1, 2016 to September 15, 2016 by the Jefferson County Health Department.

Although these are the only known cases, many who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with Pertussis can be at risk.

Pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial disease spread by coughing. It affects the respiratory system and can be fatally harmful to newborns.

Symptoms include fever, vomiting, and violent coughing. Early signs resemble a common cold, such as a runny nose and exhaustion.

According to the Gail Scott of the Jefferson County Health Department, “the best defense against pertussis continues to be vaccination.”

The Pertussis vaccine, DTaP, combines the Diphtheria and Tetanus vaccines to immunize young children from two months through six years old. A booster called Tdap is recommended for adolescents and adults.  

Someone diagnosed with Pertussis should seek treatment with antibiotics. Isolation from daily activities including work and school are encouraged.

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