Important whooping cough update from Chicago Department of Public Health

How to protect your family from whooping cough

Whooping cough (pertussis) is spreading in some of Chicago's North Side neighborhoods. We want to make sure everyone follows some basic tips to help ensure the health and safety of the community. 

What is whooping cough? 
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. 

After cough fits, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths, 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. 

What to do if you or someone in your family has symptoms? 
If you or someone in your family believes they have whooping cough or were notified that they have been exposed to whooping cough, please call your healthcare provider right away.  

Following recommendations from your childcare center, school or healthcare provider's office protects not only your family but also the most vulnerable in our communities. 

How can whooping cough be prevented?
Children must receive the whole 5 dose DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis) vaccine series on time; each dose increases a child's protection and not receiving all 5 doses leaves children vulnerable to illness. 

Pregnant women infected with pertussis in the third trimester are at risk of infecting their newborns. When a pregnant woman gets Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine during the third trimester, maternal pertussis antibodies transfer to the newborn and are 80-91% effective in preventing infant infection and among infected infants 58% effective in preventing hospitalization.

Covering coughs and sneezes, staying home if sick, and washing hands frequently will also decrease the risk of catching or spreading pertussis, influenza, and other respiratory illnesses.

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Posted on March 07, 2019 at 3:55 PM