Three cases of Pertussis Confirmed for Prowers County

Prowers County Courthouse

Lamar, CO– Prowers County Public Health officials have received lab confirmation of pertussis in three Prowers County children, an eight year old male, 17 year old female and an infant, over the past two weeks, with the most recent confirmed today, May 22, 2012.

Due to the outbreak, Prowers County Public Health and Environment is advising parents to check their child’s immunization record to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations for pertussis.  All adults are also advised to obtain the vaccination if they have not had the vaccination. Residents are advised to check with their health care provider or call the health department if they are uncertain about their vaccination status.

Prowers County Public Health and Environment will be offering additional clinic times to ensure that residents, including children and adults, who need vaccination can make an appointment to come in. These clinics are an ongoing effort to prevent the further spread of pertussis in Prowers County and possible spill over to other counties and states.  For those adult residents who are eligible vaccination costs of $8 can be waived.  Children will not be denied due to inability to pay.

Prowers County Public Health will be working with schools to assess student immunization coverage rates and identify students with symptoms who require treatment and close contacts at home who may need antibiotics to prevent infection (prophylaxis).

“Vaccination is the best prevention against pertussis,” said Director of Public Health, Jackie Brown, RN, MSN “We are continuing to work with the healthcare providers and the community, to prevent the further spread of pertussis.  In general, a pertussis outbreak will slow down and eventually stop once immunity, either through vaccination or infection, has been established in the community. Our work focuses on increasing vaccination rates, particularly in adults and adolescents, and preventing transmission to vulnerable populations, where the disease can have devastating results, such as pregnant women, infants, and those with weakened immune systems.”

Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease that is also known as whooping cough, or the “100 day cough.” It is highly contagious and caused by a bacterial infection of the lungs. People with suspected or confirmed diagnosis of pertussis should stay out of work, school, or childcare until they have been on antibiotics for at least five days.

For more information you can call Prowers County Public Health and Environment at 336-8721 or you can visit  CDC website

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