Poughkeepsie… The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health is reporting an increase in pertussis cases, also known as whooping cough, particularly among adolescents, with more than 20 cases since January 1st.
“The best way to prevent pertussis is through vaccination,” said Commissioner Henry M. Kurban, MD, MBA, MPH, FACPM. “It is important for everyone to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccines to prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable.” Dr. Kurban noted that pregnant women and infants are especially vulnerable and should be vaccinated. Infants less than two months of age cannot be vaccinated, so household contacts of newborns should be vaccinated prior to the baby’s arrival home.
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease which sometimes causes fatal illness of infants and young children. Initially, symptoms will resemble those of a common cold, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever, and a mild cough. The cough worsens in severity and can last several months.
In addition to staying up to date on all your vaccinations, Dr. Kurban also recommends individuals stay home if they are sick, cover their cough, and if symptoms continue, to consult with their healthcare provider as soon as possible.
For more information, contact the Department at (845) 486-3402 or email Healthinfo@dutchessny.gov.
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