Placer County Offers Free Pertussis and Influenza Vaccines

In 2010, California saw the largest number of reported cases of pertussis in 63 years. The single best way to protect against this disease, and against seasonal influenza, is by getting a vaccination. Both diseases are particularly dangerous to children.

Placer County Community Health will offer five, no-cost vaccination clinics for county residents. The clinics, which will offer influenza and pertussis vaccines, will be scheduled throughout the county.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease spread by coughs and sneezing. Vaccination is the best defense against whooping cough, but immunity wears off over time. As a result, pertussis continues to circulate widely in California, and has resulted in the hospitalization and deaths of infants who are too young to receive vaccinations. Anyone who is around infants is encouraged to be vaccinated.

Influenza is more dangerous to children than the common cold. Flu shots are recommended to all infants over six months of age, and to all children and adults. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its complications is to get a seasonal vaccine each year.

“Unfortunately, pertussis has become a major concern in California after a long period without outbreaks,” said Dr. Mark Starr, Placer County Director of Community Health, Clinics and Animal Services. “The symptoms of pertussis are initially similar to the common cold and could include a runny nose, fever and diarrhea. Severe episodes of coughing usually start 10 to 12 days after exposure to the bacteria. It is very important to call your doctor if a person has any of the following symptoms: bluish skin color indicating a lack of oxygen, periods of stopped breathing, seizures or convulsions, high fever or persistent vomiting.”

Clinics are scheduled at the following locations and dates – Click Here []