SW Idaho is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak and infants are at risk – Here’s what you can do to protect them

081518WhoopingCough
We talked about pertussis – also know as whooping cough – back in December, but here it is August and Southwest Idaho is experiencing a whooping cough outbreak. What’s been happening
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Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that has steadily been on the rise since last fall locally in Ada and Canyon counties, and has now been declared an outbreak in Southwest Idaho. We’re also seeing higher incidences in the Magic Valley. August has historically been the peak month for pertussis cases, which tend to peak every three to five years. When we look back at the last high pertussis year, 2014, there were 253 cases statewide as of August 11 that year. Through August 11 this year in Idaho, we now have 257 cases reported. Continue reading

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UPDATED: Idaho E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Ariz.

April 20, 2018: UPDATE: As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its warning to cover ALL types of romaine from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region, including whole heads and hearts of romaine in addition to chopped romaine from that area. Also, the number of cases in Idaho has increased to 10. More details here.

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Public health officials in Idaho are investigating an outbreak of E. coli infections that are linked to a national outbreak affecting at least 10 other states.

Chopped romaine

Chopped romaine lettuce

At this time, eight Idaho residents have become sick with E. coli infections. All eight people who have become ill report eating romaine lettuce in the 10 days prior to becoming ill. Three individuals were hospitalized, and two have developed kidney failure linked to the E. coli infection. All hospitalized individuals were adults between the ages of 20 and 55. No deaths have been linked to this outbreak.

Initial investigations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and public health officials in affected states indicate that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region, could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and causing illness. No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified yet. Continue reading