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State Health Department Sets Pertussis Vaccine Clinics In Black Hills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Barb Buhler, (605) 773-3361 


State Health Department Sets Pertussis Vaccine Clinics In Black Hills


PIERRE, S.D. – The Department of Health has scheduled two pertussis vaccination clinics for Black Hills area residents. In Rapid City, vaccinations will be offered at the department’s Pennington County Community Health office at 909 E. St. Patrick from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 28. A second clinic will be held Thursday, May 29 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Spearfish Middle School Commons in Spearfish.


The clinics are in response to a recent rise in cases of pertussis, also called whooping cough, in the area. The vaccination clinics are targeted for infants, children, adolescents and pregnant women who are not current with their pertussis vaccinations.


“If people aren’t sick there is no need to see your doctor and get tested. Instead, what we encourage everybody to do is to check their immunization status and if they’re not up to date, come to one of the clinics and get vaccinated,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the department.


Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air by cough. Early symptoms resemble a common cold, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. Within two weeks, the cough becomes more severe and is characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs followed by a crowing or high pitched whoop. Thick, clear mucus may be discharged. Coughing episodes may recur for one to two months, and are more frequent at night.


While it can affect people of any age, it is most severe in babies under 6 months old, especially in preterm and unvaccinated infants. The elderlyare also at risk.


The vaccine is given in a series of doses at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months of age and between 4 and 6 years of age. Because immunity wanes over time, a booster dose is recommended for adolescents, 11-12 years of age, and for adults.


More information about pertussis and its control can be found on the department’s website at http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/diseasefacts/Pertussis.aspx.



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