Idaho is seeing an increase in whooping cough cases. Are you immunized?

We are starting to see an increase in the number of whooping cough (also called pertussis) cases in Idaho, specifically in the southwest part of the state. So now is a good time to remind everyone to get immunized, especially if you will be meeting a newborn member of your family during your holiday gatherings.

I thought pertussis was dangerous for babies, but not so much for adults?

Adults get pertussis too! While many adults can shake it off, in some cases the cough can last for weeks or months, and it can land you in the hospital with pneumonia or other complications. Plus, babies can’t start getting vaccinated until they’re two months old, and they don’t have high levels of protection until they are 6 months old. If adults are vaccinated, there is less of a risk of passing the highly contagious disease to an infant.

Why is pertussis so dangerous for babies?

Babies are most at risk for getting very sick or dying. About half of infants younger than a year old who get the disease need to be hospitalized. About 1 in 4 infants hospitalized with pertussis get pneumonia, and about two-thirds will have slowed or stopped breathing. In a small number of cases, the disease can even be deadly. Infants are most often infected by family members or members of the same household. In fact, a person with pertussis will infect almost everyone in their household who isn’t immunized. Continue reading

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

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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

RSV and whooping cough on the rise in Idaho – protect your baby

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We are seeing high numbers of cases in Idaho of a couple of diseases that are serious and even deadly for babies. Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and pertussis, commonly called whooping cough, are not likely to cause serious health issues for otherwise healthy adults, but it’s still very important for everyone to take precautions against both. Continue reading

Pertussis among us: Have you been immunized against whooping cough?

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Pertussis has been in the news recently, with 17 cases of the disease – also known as whooping cough – in Ada County reported since October 1. This year, 58 cases of pertussis have been reported statewide compared to 83 last year and 194 in 2015. While the numbers are going down, pertussis cases trend like a wave so we could see rising numbers in the coming years, and it’s a good time to remind everyone to get immunized. Continue reading