Kitsap County is experiencing an outbreak if pertussis (“whooping cough”) cases, with most cases in school-aged children in North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island, according to the County Public Health District Thursday. As of January 29, there have been 55 cases of pertussis reported to Kitsap Public Health since June 2014.  Nineteen cases have occurred since the beginning of January.
Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis is a very contagious disease only found in humans and is spread from person to person. The best way to prevent pertussis (whooping cough) among infants, children, teens, and adults is to get vaccinated.

In the United States, the recommended pertussis vaccine for infants and children is called DTaP. In 2013, there were 28,639 pertussis cases reported in the United States with 748 cases in Washington state.
People with pertussis usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the pertussis bacteria. Also, keep infants and other people at high risk for pertussis complications away from infected people.
This is a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

In 2012, nearly 50,000 cases were reported nationwide, including more than 4,900 in Washington. Many infants who get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents or caregivers who might not even know they have the disease, according to the CDC.

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