Press release date: Wed Oct 19th, 2011
For Immediate Release
October 19, 2011
Contact: Cindy Bodendein RN, MSN Tom Benson, District Administrator
Sauk County Health Department has seen an increase in pertussis cases in the Reedsburg area. Pertussis (also called whooping cough) is a disease caused by a bacteria that is spread from person to person and can cause serious illness in infants. Symptoms begin with cold- like symptoms, after two weeks the cough slowly gets worse, and may last for 4-6 weeks. The coughing may be uncontrollable and may be followed by vomiting.
There is a vaccination that prevents pertussis, but infants under 2 months of age cannot be immunized and children up to one year may not be fully protected. Children are protected through childhood vaccination received up to age 5. Immunity usually wanes by adolescence so booster vaccinations are recommended for children and adults.
The Sauk County Public Health Department and the Reedsburg School District are teaming up to provide vaccination of children who are age 4 and have not received their 5th dose of DTaP. Additionally, vaccine will be offered to 11 year olds who have not received a Tdap. The vaccine provides protection after 2-3 weeks so anyone recently exposed will not be protected immediately. There is however, antibiotic treatment if an individual becomes symptomatic or exposed to someone with pertussis.
Letters will be sent home to parents informing them of the clinic dates, targeted schools, vaccine information sheets and required papers to be completed. The Public Health nurses will be in the schools on October 25, 2011. A detailed schedule will be sent to the parents. Children who are not current with the school required vaccinations will be notified by the school district.
The Sauk County Health Department will be at the Trinity Baptist Church S3205 Golf Course Road, Reedsburg on Thursday October 20, 2011 from 3-6:00 PM. Parents should call the health department (355-3290) for an appointment.