News Dedicated to a Healthy Workplace August 2012
Increasing Pertussis Cases in Missouri
An important message from BarnesCare medical director, Scott C. Jones, DO, MPH, FAOCOPM.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has issued a Health Advisory reporting increasing pertussis Cases in Missouri. The DHSS has been observing a substantial rise in the numbers of reported pertussis cases in Missouri in recent months. This increase is consistent with the 2012 national pertussis trend. A gradual and sustained increase of this cyclical endemic disease has led to year-to-date case counts in the United States surpassing those from the previous five years for the same period. The national trend of high rates of pertussis among adolescents suggests early waning of immunity from acellular vaccines. Nevertheless, pertussis vaccination remains the single most effective strategy for prevention of infection. Get the latest pertussis updates on the DHSS website.

What is pertussis? 
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is a very contagious disease caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. It is one of the most common vaccine-preventable childhood diseases in the U.S. Both children and adults can get pertussis.

Lost work time 
The Work Loss Data Institute reports the midrange return to work for employees with diagnosis of pertussis as 51 days

Vaccination
The best way to protect your employees from pertussis is by providing the pertussis vaccine. Pertussis vaccines are safe and effective. Everyone should make sure they are up to date with the recommended pertussis vaccine (DTaP for infants/children and Tdap for adolescents/adults). 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website monitors pertussis outbreaks and provides information and recommendations. 

If you have any questions about pertussis or would like to discuss vaccination recommendations with a BarnesCare provider, contact us.

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