Pertussis is a bacterial respiratory illness characterized by severe spasms of coughing that can last for several weeks or even for months. Pertussis is quickly spread from person to person when a person coughs or sneezes and can cause serious illness and/or death.
Children need five doses of DTaP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis) by kindergarten (ages 4-6) and a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) booster at age 11 or 12.
Tdap boosters are also recommended for teens and adults ages 64 years and younger.
Call Polk County Public Health at (503) 623-8175 for more information.