Whooping Cough Vaccination Clinic Info.

November 11, 2011 9:43:29 AM PST
McHenry County's initial pertussis outbreak has grown beyond the school yard and is now being reported in the general public, in twelve (12) communities. McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) reports 79 cases of pertussis in the following areas - Algonquin (1), Cary (35), Crystal Lake (9), Fox River Grove (5), Harvard (1), Hebron (1), Huntley/Lake in the Hills (5), Island Lake (1), Johnsburg (1), McHenry (5) and Woodstock (15); ages range from 3 months to 35 years old. The County's last significant outbreak came in 2004 (191 cases); last year saw 9 cases, with 51 cases of pertussis in 2009.

Another walk-in vaccination clinic has been scheduled with Dominick's Pharmacy for Wed. Nov. 16, 2:30pm-7pm, at MCDH's Crystal Lake office (100 N Virginia Street) to provide the Tdap vaccine for those 11 years and older who have not received it in the last 10 years. The cost is $50. Medicaid is accepted for individuals aged 11-18; must present Medicaid card. The vaccine is $15 for those aged 11-18 who are uninsured or underinsured, and uninsured adults aged 19 and older who meet income requirements. In addition, 11-18 year olds must be accompanied by a parent; bring current vaccination record. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses the importance of a pertussis booster for those aged 11 to 64 and those 65+ who are caregivers for young children. High risk populations include infants-young children (birth-5 years old) who may not be fully vaccinated, children who didn't receive a booster shot, those who are immune compromised and older adults. It is important for those under 11 years to be up-to-date on childhood vaccinations.

Pertussis is highly contagious and easily spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sneezing and low-grade fever can last several weeks and lead to complications like pneumonia, encephalitis or pulmonary hypertension. Frequent hand washing, covering the mouth, coughing into tissues and staying home when ill are important practices to limit the spread of infection. Returning to school/work prior to completing the five (5) treatment regime could allow pertussis to spread.

For more information on pertussis, visit www.mcdh.info or call MCDH at 815-334-4510.

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