Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board: Indian Leadership for Indian Health

Pertussis Outbreak, Washington State

CDC MMWR Pertussis Report

An epidemic of pertussis infection (“whooping cough”) is occurring in Washington State. According to Washington State Department of Health (WA DOH),so far this year, there have been over 3000 cases (confirmed and probable) in Washington. The illness is caused by a bacteria, Bordetella pertussis, causes a prolonged cough and is most serious in young infants and the elderly. Of the cases reported so far, 25% are in adolescents aged 10-13 years. 185 cases are in infants under 1 year of age and have resulted in 39 hospitalizations, with 31 of those hospitalized being under 3 months. So far this year, no deaths from pertussis have been reported. There were two deaths each year in 2011 and 2010.

The Indian Health Service has posted two new videos to help explain the importance of vaccination to prevent pertussis and giver more information about this disease. Click here to watch “Ramona’s Story” and get more information.

Immunization Data

What can you do?

These data highlight the need to target children for appropriate vaccination at every opportunity, whether they are seen in clinic for a well-child visit or a mild illness. In many cases, reminder letters or phone calls to parents can be helpful to encourage parents to bring their children in for immunization services.

  • Make sure ALL children receive all four DTAP immunizations before the age of two, starting at six weeks.
  • Make sure all adolescents receive their Tdap booster starting at age 11
  • Make sure that women of childbearing age receive Tdap before they become pregnant
  • Make sure that women who are pregnant receive Tdap after they reach 20 weeks gestation
  • Make sure all adults, especially care-givers to small children have a Tdap booster at least once

Questions?  Contact the Portland Area IHS Immunizations program for more information at:
(503) 416-3298 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Resources for Community Members

Resources for Clinicians

From State Public Health Departments

2012 Immunization Schedules

Other Resources

State Specific Disease Reporting and Data

Information from IHS