Officials at the Riley County Health Department announced Thursday that two probable cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, were identified in Manhattan on Wednesday. They said the cases involve children who are known to each other.
“It is important to remind the community that the single most effective control measure against pertussis is immunization of children, as well as parents and caregivers,” Susanne Kufahl, Riley County Health Officer, said.
Immunization is recommended at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months of age with a booser at kindergarten entry. The Advisory Commitee on Immunization Practice recommneds that persons 11 years of age through 64 years of age received the tetanus and diptheria and pertussis vaccine. Persons older than 64 should be vaccinated if they will be in close contact with infants.
She said that although pertussis is often thought of as a childhood disease, it can occur among people of any age, and that anyone with unexplained acute cough illness or anyone who has had contact with a person with pertussis should contact their doctors. Antibiotics should be given to the whole household and any other close contacts, she said.
She said that parents are advised to keep infants, particularly those under 6 months, away from anyone with a cough illness, as infants are more likely to experience severe illness if they develop whooping cough.
For more information on whooping cough or to get vaccinated, contact the Riley County Health Department at 785-776-4779, ext. 134, or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 1-877-427-7317.