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Health Provider Information about Pertussis

A recent increase in cases of pertussis has been reported in Contra Costa County. The most severe cases of pertussis occur in young infants. Infants less than 6 months of age are most likely to be hospitalized and infants less than 3 months of age are most likely to die from pertussis infection. It is important to be vigilant of the early recognition and aggressive treatment of pertussis in infants less than 6 months to prevent poor outcomes. With health care professionals likely seeing more patients with suspect pertussis the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic test is an important tool for timely diagnosis. The most important strategy to prevent infection in vulnerable infants is Tdap vaccination of the mother. All pregnant women should receive Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, any trimester but preferably between 27-36 weeks gestation, regardless of their vaccination history.

Reporting Criteria

  1. Report any suspect or laboratory confirmed case of pertussis within one working day of identification (Title 17, California Code of Regulations (CCR) §2500); and
  2. Immediately report outbreak by phone to Contra Costa Public Health Communicable Disease Programs at 925-313-6740.

Additional Resources

See more information designed specifically for health care providers.