4 Cases Of Whooping Cough In Coventry
R.I. Dept. of Health urges all who have not received the Tdap vaccine to get it and says even those who were vaccinates as children should get the Tdap shot as a booster.
The R.I. Department of Health reported there have been four confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in Coventry and it is urging residents who have not been vaccinated against the disease to do so.
Three pertussis cases have been confirmed in students who attend the Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School in Coventry and one case has been confirmed in a student who attends Tiogue Elementary School.
There was a pertussis outbreak in North Kingstown last July.
Pertussis is a serious bacterial infection that causes fever and uncontrolled bouts of coughing, according to the health department's website. It is one of the diseases parents are encouraged to vaccinate their babies against. The vaccine given to babies is called DTaP
In 2005, a new vaccine called the Tdap for teenagers and adults was licensed. That vaccine is recommended for anyone who never got the vaccine as a baby, and it is also now recommended as a booster for all adults. Information about both vaccines is available here.
"Tdap was licensed for adolescents and adults in 2005 – so, many adults have not had the vaccine. Any adult who has not received this vaccine should be vaccinated," said Dara Chadwick, the health department's public information officer.
The website for the national Centers for Disease Control puts it this way: "There is high pertussis vaccine coverage for children nationwide. However, protection from the childhood vaccine decreases over time. Preteens, teens and adults need to be revaccinated, even if they were completely vaccinated as children."
It continues, "Also, pertussis vaccines are very effective but not 100% effective. If pertussis is circulating in the community, there is still a chance that a fully vaccinated person can catch this very contagious disease. When you or your child develops a cold that includes a prolonged or severe cough, it may be pertussis. The best way to know is to contact your doctor."
Tdap is a one-time vaccine for adults, according to CDC. In other words, if you received the Tdap vaccine, you will not need to get it again.
There is a flu clinic Saturday at Coventry High School, 40 Reservoir Road, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for people 6 months and older.