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Two whooping cough shot clinics at Edmonds CC, Oct. 23

10/19/2012
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Snohomish Health District and community partner Verdant Health Commission continue to encourage all adults – especially those who have contact with infants – to get vaccinated against this preventable disease. People of all ages need booster shots to maintain their immunity, and most adults aren’t up to date on their shots. A single shot known as “Tdap” prevents tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

Contact your health care provider or pharmacy to make sure you and your child are fully immunized. Children’s vaccines are free or low-cost. Vaccines for adults may be covered by private health insurance or Medicaid, or offered at reduced cost at the sites listed at www.snohd.org/stopthecough.

Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is spread by adults and children and is particularly harmful to infants, who have no immunity. Children and adults become sick enough to miss school and work for several days and up to two weeks.

As of October 5, Snohomish Health District confirmed 526 reports of whooping cough in 2012, although most cases go unreported, especially in adults. Letters notifying parents that their child may have been exposed to the disease have gone out to elementary, middle and high schools, youth sports, weekend events, daycares and other activities.

These community clinics are part of the Snohomish Health District’s ongoing fight with an epidemic of whooping cough in Snohomish County. The Health District will provide about 800 adult doses of pertussis vaccine made available through the state Department of Health. Sixteen previous whooping cough clinics in the county this year vaccinated a total of 1,877 adults; pharmacies have given about 1,000 shots.

Compared to total whooping cough vaccinations in the first four months of 2011, Snohomish County residents have gotten about twice as many shots in the same period this year.

Download vaccine information sheets and consent forms in English and Spanish at the Snohomish Health District’s Web site, www.snohd.org.

This year the Verdant Health Commission joined forces with the Snohomish Health District and other community partners to educate and increase access to the whooping cough vaccine in an effort to protect the health of all community members. For nearly 50 years, Public Hospital District No. 2, Snohomish County served the health needs of the community by governing and managing the local community hospital. As the hospital district’s new program, the Verdant Health Commission invests in community programs that empower South Snohomish County residents to make healthy decisions and choose a healthy lifestyle.

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier Snohomish County through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org.

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