Pertussis Outbreak

Pertussis Outbreak

Pertussis Outbreak

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, has been confirmed among migrant farmworkers in Mattawa and Quincy. On July 3 the Grant County Health District received a phone call from a health care provider indicating that they had a positive pertussis case. Theresa Adkinson, Public Information Officer with the Grant County Health District, explains what that means for public health.

ADKINSON: It initiates an investigation so we can control the spread of the disease. Whooping cough is a bacterial disease that is vaccine preventable.

Adkinson says that the farm has been very cooperative.

ADKINSON: The farm initiated their system - they already have a health care provider on staff. The next day they met with the patients and if they were coughing they were sent for testing and given antibiotics if they’ve had direct contact.

At this point in time they have three confirmed pertussis cases and all of the farm workers and the staff directly interacting with the farm workers have been put on antibiotics.

ADKINSON: Grant County Health District then starts contacting the individuals one at a time talking with them about where they’ve been, who they’ve interacted with so we can identify those at high risk. So we are concerned. We expect additional cases. We’ve also contacted the Washington State Department of Health. They are sending us Tdap vaccine. Tdap is the adult and adolescent version of the pertussis vaccine. So all the farmworkers will be given a Tdap vaccine as well.

For more information contact the health district’s Moses Lake office at 509-766-7960. If you’re concerned you might have pertussis contact your health care provider.

That’s Washington Ag Today.

I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

Previous ReportAvailable Livestock Programs
Next ReportGrowing New Farmers