BCHD offers whooping cough vaccine clinics

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Officials at the Barry County Health Department are offering TDAP vaccinations to protect area residents against whooping cough (pertussis).

Whooping cough, which has been on the rise in Missouri and across the nation for the past two years, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can cause serious illness. It is caused by a bacteria found in the mouth, nose and throat of an infected person and is passed easily from person to person when that person coughs, sneezes or talks.

Whooping cough starts with cold and flu-like symptoms, and after about two weeks, the cough becomes severe. After a coughing episode, someone with pertussis needs to take deep breaths, which can result in a "whooping" sound. The affected individual also is often nauseous and very tired.

The illness can last weeks or months if not treated. It is most harmful to young babies and can be fatal. Infants are most at risk before they receive their first pertussis shot at the age of two months.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending TDAP booster inoculations for those age 11 years and older, especially those in close contact with babies and young children, including parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, babysitters and anyone working around young children.

The TDAP vaccine also provides a booster dose of tetanus, a disease that enters the body through scratches, cuts or wounds.

Barry County Health Department will be offering TDAP vaccines for those 11 years and older on the following limited clinic dates and locations:

* 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9 at the Cassville office.

*8a.m.to7p.m.on Thursday, July 11 at the Monett satellite office.

*9a.m.to11a.m.on Thursday, July 18 at the Shell Knob Senior Center.

For more information, call the Barry County Health Department at 847-2114 in Cassville, or 417-354-8686 in Monett.

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