Local Whooping Cough Outbreak Rises to 18 Confirmed Cases - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Whooping Cough Outbreak Rises to 18 Confirmed Cases

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UPDATE/GRANT COUNTY, WA - The Grant County Health District has confirmed 18 whooping cough cases.

Health officers are warning additional cases are likely and has recommended antibiotics for people who have come into close contact, been housed with, or transported with the sick patients.

A Tdap vaccine clinic is set for July 15 for all the workers in Mattawa. The information has been shared with neighboring public health agencies to decide if additional people should receive antibiotics. People associated with the outbreak are living in Grant, Adams, and Franklin Counties.

Whooping cough reminder:
• Pertussis “whooping cough” is a vaccine preventable disease.
• Children may need up to five DTaP shots between two months of age and when they start school.
• Tdap shot is required for 6th grade school entry.
• Tdap is recommended for children 7-10 years old who are unvaccinated or under vaccinated for pertussis.
• Tdap shot is recommended for all adults who are not up to date and do not have contraindication to vaccine.
• Because immunity from pertussis shot or disease wears off, family members and caregivers of infants should make sure they are up to date with their pertussis vaccination.
• All pregnant women should get another Tdap vaccine at 27 to 36 weeks of pregnancy, regardless of prior vaccine.
• To protect the babies, other family members should get the Tdap booster as soon as possible.

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MATTAWA, WA - The Grant County Health District is investigating a whooping cough outbreak among migrant farm workers near Mattawa and Quincy.

Health district staff say there's been three laboratory confirmed cases and 210 people that came into contact with those individuals. No one has been hospitalized.

“We are responding to a cluster of whooping cough cases among migrant farm workers near Mattawa and Quincy. Because of a large number of exposed and ill individuals in a very well-defined area, we are considering this a local outbreak,” states Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer. He adds, “Preventing severe disease and death in infants is our highest priority. We urge all pregnant women to get vaccinated and urge parents to vaccinate infants and children if they are not up to date.”

The Grant County Health Officer has now recommended antibiotics for a number of people who have come into close contact with the disease. Anyone who has recently worked, lived, or visited Mattawa or Quincy may want to double check they are up to date on their pertussis (Tdap) shot.

A typical case of pertussis starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes ends with a whooping sound. Young infants are less likely to have a notable cough – caregivers and health care providers should consider the possibility of pertussis in infants with coughs or colds to help in prompt diagnosis and treatment.
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