Pertussis (whooping cough) in Seattle

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    Just want to give everyone a heads up that a vaccinated student at Madison Middle School just tested positive for pertussis. The parent was hyper-alert and had the test done when a “normal” mild cold abruptly turned into a barking cough just four days after onset of symptoms. To everyone’s surprise, the test came back positive. This early diagnosis allowed the student to start antibiotics promptly, which will both protect the community and minimize the severity of the symptoms.

    According to the CDC “Vaccinated children and adults can become infected with and spread pertussis; however, disease is typically much less serious in vaccinated people.” (Source: Given that more than 99% of pertussis cases go undiagnosed (Source:, there may be 100 people in the larger West Seattle area who have pertussis.

    Please spread the word. The vaccine helps, but we need a strong second line of defense. To protect newborns, please keep ALL coughs away from babies and pregnant people in their third trimester. If you are a primary caregiver for a newborn and develop a cough, please inform your medical provider that there is a documented case of pertussis in West Seattle. Early use of antibiotics can stop the progression of pertussis. For newborns, that can save lives. For everyone else, it means less illness, and a much shorter contagious period.



    Now if we could just get people who ride the bus to show some respect and concern for others by either staying home when they’re sick, or wearing a mask if they absolutely must take the bus. Most of the time people just hack and snort, which is both disgusting and dangerous, without even bothering to cover. Yuck.



    I had pertussis as a child( before vaccine) and was in the hospital for 3 weeks. I almost died. Because of it I now have Lung and respitory problems. I don’t see any good reason not to vaccinate a child from this sickness. Live in my shoes one or two winters and you’ll understand why a parent should do it.

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