Tdap clinic aimed at kids
With the high number of whooping cough cases in the Triad, health officials will offer a Tdap clinic Saturday for sixth-grade students to help with state vaccination deadlines.
The state Department of Health and Human Services said Monday the number of cases in Davidson, Forsyth and Rockingham counties is high. Public health officials have tracked more than 325 cases statewide of the disease, also called pertussis. The entire state reported 126 cases in all of 2011.
National health officials say pertussis, or whooping cough, is on pace to be the worst in 50 years, with nearly 18,000 cases recorded so far this year. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, causes severe coughing spells, vomiting and disturbed sleep. It can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization due to complications.
The Tdap vaccine can protect adolescents and adults against three serious diseases. Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis all are caused by bacteria. The vaccination is required by law for children entering sixth grade in public school and a booster is needed if five or more years have passed since the last dose. Students in public and private schools, as well as those in home school and non-traditional schools, must get the vaccines. Also, students enrolling in college or university for the first time need the shots.
Students who do not have the required vaccination by the 30th day of school attendance will be suspended until proof of vaccination is provided to the child’s school. The vaccine must be documented on the child’s shot record for school attendance.
New parents, grandparents and those individuals who work with infants also need protection against whooping cough. Officials say anyone 19 and older should get the whooping cough vaccine booster because the vaccine weakens over time.
Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches or wounds. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both Guilford County Department of Public Health locations in Greensboro and High Point, also Sept. 14 at the same time. For an appointment at either location, call 641-3245. Spanish speakers should call 641-4591. The Tdap vaccination also is available at other times during the regular business day and at your child’s health care provider’s office.
Fees: Charges may apply. Bring your child’s insurance card (including Medicaid) and your child’s shot record.
Information: Visit www.guilford.health.org