Whooping Cough Information for Parents

Whooping Cough Information for Parents
Posted on 12/04/2017
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Link to Central District Health Department Website

Central District Health Department (CDHD) has been notified about several lab-confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in the Boise School District. The spread of whooping cough appears to be happening community-wide since Ada County has had more than double the normal number of cases, which have affected children of all ages. Please watch for a harsh, lingering cough in your child(ren) and yourself.  If your health care provider suspects whooping cough, ask about a test.

Why worry about pertussis if you or your children have been vaccinated? 

Even though you or your child may have been vaccinated, protection from the vaccine weakens or disappears over a period of time. Very few pre-teens, adolescents or adults have any protection. Pertussis can be deadly to infants. The best way to protect yourself and others is by getting vaccinated.

What should you do?

  • Watch for signs of whooping cough and keep anyone at home who has symptoms until they have seen a healthcare provider or are not contagious. Symptoms include a cough that is persistent, comes in “fits,” is so forceful it causes vomiting, or it may cause a noise as the person breathes in. 
  • Consult your health care provider for specific recommendations.
  • Children 7 to 10 years old who are not fully vaccinated against pertussis should receive Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) vaccine.
  • Adolescents 11 to 18 years should receive a dose of Tdap, preferably at age 11 or 12.
  • Adults should receive at least one dose of Tdap in their life and pregnant women should receive a dose during each pregnancy. 

Where can people get their Tdap vaccine?

  • CDHD offers vaccines to children through age 18. Call 208-327-7400 to make an appointment.
  • Call your child’s or your health care provider to schedule a vaccine.
  • Vaccines are available through most medical clinics, walk-in clinics and some pharmacies.

For more information about pertussis or the vaccine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html  or contact a medical provider such as your doctor, nurse, or Central District Health Department’s (CDHD) Communicable Disease Program (208-327-8625).

Further Information for Parents/Guardians:

Whooping Cough and the Vaccine (Shot) to Prevent It