Drop By Our Clinics for Whooping Cough Vaccine
Updated Jan. 9, 2013
Although the epidemic levels of whooping cough are easing in some areas of Washington state, state health officials urge adults and teens in contact with infants to get vaccinated against this highly contagious respiratory disease or get a booster.
Newborn babies and infants are at most risk of serious illness because they are too young to be immunized against whooping cough (pertussis). The only way to keep them safe is to immunize the people around them.
How to Get a Tdap Vaccination
Adults who have not yet received the booster (called Tdap) should get this vaccination.
Tdap vaccinations for Group Health members are available at Group Health Medical Centers clinics from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment or doctor visit is necessary. Please call a Customer Service specialist at 1-888-901-4636 if you have questions about coverage.
Highest Risk Groups for Spreading Disease
The highest risk groups for spreading the disease are:
In 2012, 4,783 cases of whooping cough were reported in Washington, the highest number of cases in more than 70 years. In 2011, the state had 965 cases reported. Skagit County had the most cases in 2012. Garfield County was the only county with no reported cases.
Whooping Cough Symptoms
Pertussis is a very contagious infection that causes a coughing illness. It is caused by bacteria (germs) that are found in the mouth, nose, and throat of an infected person.
Symptoms appear 5 to 21 days after exposure, usually between 7 and 10 days.
The illness begins with cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, and mild cough. Within 1 to 2 weeks, the cough becomes more severe and leads to coughing fits, difficulty in getting one's breath, mucus production, vomiting following coughing, and a "whooping" sound while struggling to inhale after coughing.
Usually the person has no fever. The disease may last 6 to 10 weeks or longer. Pertussis is most dangerous in infants less than 6 months of age, and serious complications can occur.
Group Health Recommendations
Group Health recommendations for immunization against whooping cough are:
Do You Need a Vaccination?
You can check your immunization record if you have access to your online medical records and get care at a Group Health Medical Centers clinic. Log onto this website and open Immunizations under Your Medical Record. You'll see a list of vaccinations you have received at Group Health and the date received, plus any immunizations from elsewhere that you have requested be included in your record at Group Health. You can also call your doctor's office to check.
If you have questions or concerns about this vaccine for yourself or a child, contact your doctor or your child's doctor.
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