As of March 7, 2019, 15 cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, have been confirmed in Rockland County. A number of these cases have originated from New Square and Monsey.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After cough fits, someone with pertussis often gasps for breath, which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old. The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated.”
RefuahHealth providers join the CDC in its aim to protect the most vulnerable, including newborn patients. For these little ones, pertussis can be deadly. You can protect your family and community through recommended immunizations.
Protecting Against Pertussis—it’s simple.
Vaccinate your infant/children– The first 3 doses of pediatric diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) should be received at the age of 2, 4, and 6 months. After the first three doses, your child will have 80%-85% immunity to the disease. Two booster doses are recommended at 15 months and 4 years after which 98% of children will be immune. Another pertussis booster (Tdap) is recommended at age 11. Children who lack one dose or multiple doses of the recommended schedule experience decreased immunity to pertussis.
Vaccinate yourself/household—It is especially important that parents of infants and ALL individuals (adults and children) who live with an infant or provide care to an infant are protected against pertussis. The CDC recommends that the infant’s family members and potential visitors receive a one-time dose of the adolescent/adult tetanus-diphtheria-acellular (Tdap) vaccine if they have not already done so.
Pregnant women have the unique opportunity to provide protection to their babies. Administered during the last trimester of pregnancy, the Tdap vaccination has been shown to prevent 78% of pertussis cases in infants younger than 2 months old and 90% effective in preventing serious cases of pertussis resulting in hospitalization.
As the community’s leading health care provider, RefuahHealth encourages all family-household members, especially infants and young children, to be immunized against the highly contagious and dangerous disease. If you or your family member has a chronic health condition that might increase the risk of a respiratory infection, please seek advice from your health care provider.
For children and individuals who are not immunized or for those who are unsure of their vaccination history, please contact your primary care provider. A DTaP provides the most effective protection against pertussis. With 5 doses, the DTaP can be 98% effective in providing immunity. Refuah is offering vaccinations at all Rockland County locations. For more information, please visit RefuahHealth.org or call 1.845.354.9300.