Department of Health Encourages Vaccinations
SANTA FE, N.M. (KTSM) — According to the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) 331 cases of pertussis, better known as whooping cough, have been reported in New Mexico so far this year.
Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH says, “Pertussis is very contagious and can cause serious illness―especially in infants too young to be fully vaccinated.”
The Department of Health recommends that pregnant women and anyone who is going to be around a baby make sure they are up to date on their pertussis vaccination.
In the report issued Tuesday, counties with the highest rate of pertussis are Los Alamos, Taos and Santa Fe.
Officials say the rates are used to describe disease activity of cases over a given period of time.
They add that the rates take into account the different population sizes of demographic groups or geographic areas so that meaningful comparisons can be made between groups and areas.
898 cases of pertussis were reported in New Mexico in 2012.
Last year, two children died of pertussis.
This year, no deaths have been reported, howerver nine infants have been hospitalized.
In their news release, the New Mexico Department of Health recommends the following to help reduce the spread of pertussis:
• All pregnant women should receive a Tdap booster ideally between the 27th and 36th week of each pregnancy
• All infants and children should receive the primary series of pertussis vaccine, called DTaP, at 2, 4, 6 and 12-18 months of age
• All children should receive a booster dose, called DTaP, prior to school entry at 4 to 6 years of age
• Children between 7 and 10 years of age who are behind on pertussis vaccine should get a Tdap
• Children should receive a booster dose of Tdap at entry to middle school if they haven’t received one previously
• All teens or adults should receive a Tdap booster if one was not given at entry to middle school
• Anyone caring for or spending time with an infant should receive a Tdap booster if they have not received one in the past, including people 65 and older
• All healthcare personnel should receive a Tdap booster, as soon as feasible, if they have not received or are unsure if they have previously received a dose of Tdap
For more information about pertussis visit http://nmhealth.org/Pertussis/ .