Nationwide Whooping Cough Outbreak
"Pertussis vaccination remains the single-most effective strategy for prevention of infection and for protection of infants and others at high risk."
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1,033 cases of whooping cough were reported in Utah during the year 2013--nearly 5 times the national rate and the high rates of cases have continued into 2014. Whooping cough is highly contagious spreading through coughing or sneezing, and it can be fatal in infants and young children. Symptoms appear to be a prolonged cough in adults and older children, and they may unknowingly spread whooping cough to others.
Infants are often infected by parents, caregivers, or older siblings. Pertussis (whoooping cough) vaccination is the best thing you can do to protect your children, yourself, and prevent the spread of whooping cough. Make certain people around the infants and children in your family have received a recent booster vaccination for whopping cough called Tdap, whether they are parents, grandparents, siblings, or other friends and family.
In response to the increased rates of whooping cough, Utah County Health Department is able to offer Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, pertussis) vaccine for $15.00 to individuals who are 19 years of age or older that are uninsured or underinsured. Click here for more information.
Vaccinations and International Travel
As traveling abroad becomes more popular among Americans, it is crucial to ensure that all international travelers are up to date on their vaccines. This is especially important when traveling to developing countries and rural areas where diseases that have been eradicated or are uncommon in the United States are prevalent. Examples of diseases that are preventable with vaccination include typhoid, yellow fever, and polio. Measles is another vaccine-preventable disease that is a serious issue worldwide. It is a leading cause of death among children in developing countries. In 2012, alone, there were an estimated 120,000 measles deaths worldwide. From January to June 13, 2014, there have been 477 reported cases of measles in the U.S. 98% of these cases were associated with international travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all U.S. travelers 6 months of age or older be vaccinated for measles.
Protect yourself and your family by planning ahead. Visit your healthcare provider or a travel clinic at least four to six weeks before your trip in order to allow adequate time to receive vaccinations and develop immunity. Ensure that your routine vaccines are also up to date. In addition to receiving vaccinations, tips to keeping yourself and your family safe include:
- Being careful what you eat
- Using insect repellant
- Washing your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer Avoiding touching animals, especially birds, dogs, and monkeys