Visiting Nurses Encourage Whooping Cough Vaccinations

(KTUL) The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Tulsa is warning of the dangers of Whooping Cough due to a number of cases reported in Tulsa over the last few days.

Whooping cough, also known as Pertussis, is a highly-contagious disease that causes uncontrollable coughing.

“Whooping Cough is a deadly disease that can be prevented by a vaccine,” VNA Director of Wellness Merlin Sweet, R.N.

The coughing may be so severe that it causes choking spells or vomiting.

Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is more common in infants and children.

Whooping Cough is especially dangerous in infants.

The coughing spells can be so bad that it becomes difficult for infants to eat, drink, or breathe.

The best way to prevent Pertussis is to get vaccinated.

Children aged 6 and younger are routinely vaccinated against Whooping Cough, but protection from the childhood vaccine fades over time

Older children, adolescents, and adults need protection from this disease too.

A booster dose of the vaccine is recommended for anyone between the ages of 11 and 64 who have not previously received one.

Because infants cannot be fully vaccinated until after their first birthday, they are the most vulnerable age group.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health recommends the vaccine for parents, grandparents, siblings, other household contacts, and childcare workers who are in contact with infants under one year of age, new mothers who have never received the vaccine, and healthcare workers who are in direct contact with patients.

The Pertussis vaccine is given as part of the DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus) vaccine.

The VNA offers the DPT vaccine for $55 at their office at 7875 East 51st Street South in Tulsa.