Chester County reports pertussis outbreaks

 

Submitted by Eileen Sherman, Director, Infection Prevention

 

The Chester County Health Department has received an increase in reports of confirmed pertussis and pertussis exposure in several school districts and in several health care facilities.

 

Early treatment of pertussis is very important. In order to reduce the spread of this bacteria,

  • Remember to consider the diagnosis of pertussis for anyone with respiratory symptoms, including yourself.
  • Collect nasopharyngeal aspirate or swabs for pertussis PCR and/or culture.
  • Strongly consider treating prior to receiving test results if clinical history is suggestive of pertussis.
  • Consider prophylaxis for individuals with known exposure to pertussis, especially if they live or work with infants, pregnant women, or immunocompromised individuals.
  • Patients being treated for pertussis (even empirically) may not return to school until completing 5 days of antibiotic therapy.

 

Continue to encourage routine vaccinations to your patients, but remember that, if indicated, post-exposure prophylaxis is needed even for fully immunized patients.

 

Report pertussis to the Chester County Health Department using the Infectious Disease Report Form at www.chesco.org/health.

 

Please review and share with your staff and colleagues. Contact Disease Investigation and Surveillance at 610-344-6452 if you have any questions.

 

Additional information about pertussis is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis.

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