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Pertussis is in Wauwatosa
What is Pertussis (“Whooping Cough”)?
Pertussis is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable bacterial disease that is spread through the air by coughing. It begins with cold symptoms and a cough which becomes much worse over one to two weeks. Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs (“coughing fits”) followed by a whooping noise. However, older children, adults and very young infants may not develop the whoop. There is generally no fever. People with Pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching their breath. The cough is often worse at night and cough medicines usually do not help alleviate the cough.

Why is Pertussis a problem?
Complications, hospitalization, and even death may occur in some cases, especially among the very old, the very young, and individuals with serious medical conditions. Children under 2 months old are particularly vulnerable, since they are unvaccinated against Pertussis.

What can I do about Pertussis?
VACCINATE! If you and your family have not been completely immunized against Pertussis, we recommend you talk to your health care provider about receiving the Pertussis vaccine. Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent Pertussis. However, no vaccination is 100%
effective in preventing illness. If the illness is not prevented, vaccination may decrease the severity of the illness, prevent complications, and decrease hospitalizations. Adults and children need to be vaccinated.

If you or a family member comes down with cold symptoms that include a cough, talk to your health care provider without delay. Tell the health care provider that you or your family are concerned about Pertussis and request to be evaluated. Please stay home or keep your family member home until the results of diagnostic testing are known.

For more information, please call the Wauwatosa Health Department at (414) 479-8939.

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