Pertussis Cases in Infants Occur in Okaloosa County (FL)
The Destin Log
FL Department of Health
July 30, 2013
OKALOOSACOUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (FDOH-Okaloosa) has received reports of two confirmed cases and one probable case of pertussis in unvaccinated infants. Only one infant was too young to have started the childhood immunization series. All three infants are recovering and families have received treatment.
None of the cases are associated with each other; therefore this is not an outbreak. “While this is not an outbreak of pertussis,” says Dr. Karen Chapman, Director of the FDOH-Okaloosa, “this does indicate that pertussis is present in our community and is being contracted by unimmunized infants.” Dr. Chapman says, “Immunizing individual children helps protect the health of the community, especially those people who cannot be immunized. This includes children who are too young to have completed their immunizations, those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and those who cannot make an adequate response to vaccination.”
These are the first reported cases of infant pertussis in Okaloosa County since 2007. Pertussis is commonly known as “whooping cough.” Whooping cough is highly contagious and can be fatal for infants. The reported incidence of pertussis in the United States has increased almost 17 times since 1979.
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