Gila County has reported a confirmed a case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, in the Payson area.
Pertussis is a contagious disease spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. It is most contagious during the cold-like stage to three weeks after it begins. Pertussis is treated with antibiotics and people may return to normal activities after five days of treatment and are fever-free.
Pertussis is called whooping cough, because, in older infants and preschool children, coughing is often followed by a whooping sound. Other symptoms to look for are mild cold-like signs and symptoms, accompanied by little or no fever; coughing that worsens within one to two weeks and becomes intermittent, and may be followed by vomiting; and, increased production of mucus.
The Gila County Office of Health is advising its residents to stay vigilant. For maximum protection against pertussis, children need five Diphtheria Tetanus and acellular Pertussis or DTaP shots.The first three shots are given to infants at 2,4 and 6 months of age, which protects most infants but the effects of which tend to fade as they become toddler. Preteens will also need a TDaP,which is a pertussis booster. It is also recommended that pregnant women should receive it during the third trimester.
If a person has been exposed to pertussis by a household member, or other close contact, they may be given a preventative course of antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick.
If you suspect that you may have pertussis, have been exposed, or, have any questions, please contact your primary care physician.
For more information, to set up an appointment for a vaccination or to hear walk-in hours, contact the Gila County Division of Health & Emergency Services at 800-304-4452, Ext. 8811.