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Wickenburg Community Hospital
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Wickenburg Community Hospital has been notified that La Paz County Health Department has confirmed cases of B. Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in the Salome and Wenden areas.
Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. It is spread from person to person. People with pertussis usually spread the disease to another person by coughing or sneezing or when spending a lot of time near one another where you share breathing space. Many babies who get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers who might not even know they have the disease.
While pertussis vaccines are the most effective tool we have to prevent this disease, no vaccine is 100% effective. If pertussis is circulating in the community, there is a chance that a fully vaccinated person, of any age, can catch this very contagious disease. If you have been vaccinated but still get sick, the infection is usually not as bad.
Early treatment of pertussis is very important. The earlier a person, especially an infant, starts treatment the better.
Fast Facts
• Pertussis is also known as "whooping cough" because of the "whooping" sound that is made when gasping for air after a fit of coughing.
• Coughing fits due to pertussis infection can last for up to 10 weeks or more; this disease is sometimes known as the "100 day cough."
• Persons with pertussis are infectious from the beginning of the catarrhal stage (runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, symptoms of the common cold) through the third week after the onset of paroxysms (multiple, rapid coughs) or until 5 days after the start of effective antimicrobial treatment.
• Pertussis can cause serious illness in babies, children, teens, and adults and can even be life-threatening, especially in babies.
• Approximately half of babies less than 1 year old who get pertussis need treatment in the hospital.
• The most effective way to prevent pertussis is through vaccination with DTaP for babies and children and with Tdap for preteens, teens, and adults.
• Vaccination of pregnant women with Tdap is especially important to help protect babies.
• Vaccinated children and adults can become infected with and spread pertussis; however, disease is typically much less serious in vaccinated people.
• Pertussis is generally treated with antibiotics, which are used to control the symptoms and to prevent infected people from spreading the disease.
• Worldwide, there are an estimated 16 million cases of pertussis and about 195,000 deaths per year.
Should you or a family member become ill it is advisable to check with your medical provider for care decisions.

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