As of last week, state public health officials have tracked 326 cases of pertussis, according to the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Because of this high number across the state, health officials are encouraging people of all ages to be immunized.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough,is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is spread from person to person usually by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the pertussis bacteria.
Pertussis can be prevented by a vaccine. Children under the age of 7 receive DTaP, while the booster Tdap, is given to adolescents and adults. Everyone needs protection from pertussis. The pertussis vaccine,along with other immunizations, is required before children enter kindergarten and 6th grade.
The beginning of the school year is great opportunity to check with your health care providers for immunizations for everyone in the family. If your child or other family member needs vaccinations, please schedule your appointments soon. You can be vaccinated at private doctor’s offices, local health departments and many community centers.
Vaccines have saved millions of lives and prevented hundreds of millions of cases of disease. Thanks to immunizations, like DTap and Tdap, many of these diseases are not as common now as they were in the past. However, these diseases are still present and can cause many health problems.
The Sampson County Health Department and our local school nurses work very hard to monitor the immunization records of our children. Close monitoring not only protects our children, it also protects our community from vaccine-Preventable Diseases. Please help us keep Sampson County safe and get immunized now. For more information please call the Sampson County Health Department at 910-592-1131.