CRESTVIEW — The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County has received reports of two confirmed cases and one probable case of pertussis, or whooping cough, in unvaccinated infants.
All three infants are recovering and families have received treatment. The cases aren’t associated with each other, so it is not an outbreak. Still, health officials advise immunizations.
“Immunizing individual children (before they’re 2 years old) helps protect the health of the community, especially those people who cannot be immunized,” Dr. Karen Chapman, the FDOH-Okaloosa’s director, said. “This includes children who are too young to have completed their immunizations, those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and those who cannot make an adequate response to vaccination.”
Pertussis is highly contagious and can be fatal for infants. Most infants are exposed to pertussis through a family member.
These are the first reported cases of infant pertussis in Okaloosa County since 2007.
Learn more at www.soundsofpertussis.com.