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Confirmed Cases of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in Broward County

By Florida Department of Health in Broward, Public Information Office

March 11, 2015


March 10, 2015

Contact: Candy Sims, Public Information Officer

(954) 467-4784 – (954) 895-5745

Confirmed Cases of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in Broward County

BROWARD COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Broward County has identified four (4) confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, over the past two weeks, involving three (3) adolescents and one (1) infant. This year, there has been a total of five (5) confirmed cases of pertussis in Broward County. Health officials encourage residents to ensure they have been vaccinated against the disease.

“Pertussis is a very serious, yet preventable disease. Babies and young children often get the disease from family members so we urge the community to seek vaccination right away to decrease the risk of infection,” said Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director, Florida Department of Health in Broward County. “In addition, vaccinating children helps protect the health of the whole community, especially those people who cannot be vaccinated. This includes children who are too young, those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and individuals with compromised immune systems.”

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. The disease spreads easily person to person; people get pertussis by breathing in droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. Transmission of the infection may also come through direct contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough.

Initial symptoms of pertussis are like those of a cold, including runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and a mild cough. Within two weeks, the cough can become much worse. Pertussis can infect people of all ages, yet most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies
less than one year of age. Children and the elderly with pertussis often have episodes of rapid, sporadic coughing followed by a characteristic intake of breath that sounds like a “whoop.” These “whooping” coughing spells can make it hard for a child or older adult to eat, drink, or even breathe.

To learn more about pertussis and vaccinations against the disease, visit this DOH webpage -- or

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