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.
Vaccination Remains Best Way to Prevent Influenza
Though the holiday season brings merriment and joy, it is also brings an increased risk of contracting the flu. Late fall and early winter are when the influenza virus runs most rampant. Luckily the flu vaccine can significantly decrease one's chance of catching the flu. It is still possible to contract the flu after being immunized, but it is much less likely and the illness developed will be more mild than if the person had not been vaccinated. People frequently think they have the flu, when it is actually a common cold, as the two illnesses share many of the same symptoms, including a runny nose, cough, and sore throat. Though the vaccine is imperfect, it is still the best method for preventing and decreasing the severity of the flu. Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that between 2005 and 2011, the flu shot prevented 13 million illnesses and 110,000 hospitalizations. In addition, researchers are discovering that the benefits of the flu vaccine extend past merely preventing this specific illness. Researchers in the United Kingdom published a study showing the link between early flu vaccination (between September and mid-November) and a decreased risk for having a first heart attack in patients over age 40. Though it is preferable to get vaccinated early in the season, late vaccination is still better than forgoing it altogether. Most health insurance companies cover the cost of immunization. In addition to being vaccinated, frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of the illness.
Find out where you can get vaccinated in your area: