New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Whooping Cough Outbreak in Eddy County

December 20, 2016 - Pertussis - Alert

Health officials encourage families to get vaccinated

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced today an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) in Eddy County. Twenty cases of whooping cough have been investigated or are currently being investigated in Eddy County residents since November 1st, 2016, including ten school-aged children.

“Whooping cough is very contagious and can cause serious cough illness―especially in infants too young to be fully vaccinated,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent it.”

During 2015, there were no cases of pertussis reported in Eddy County. Statewide, 126 probable and confirmed whooping cough (pertussis) cases have been reported in 2016, which is nearly half the number of cases reported at the same time last year.

Symptoms of whooping cough infection may include coughing fits followed by a loud “whooping” sound. The coughing may be severe enough to cause vomiting. Infants, who may have minimal or no cough, sometimes show other symptoms such as apnea, where there is a pause in the child’s breathing pattern. Although, whooping cough can affect people of all ages, it can be particularly severe for infants. About half of babies younger than one-year of age who get the disease are hospitalized.

In addition to getting vaccinated against whooping cough, it is important for families and caregivers of new babies keep those vaccinations up to date:

New Mexicans can contact their health care provider or pharmacy to get vaccinated. Public health offices offer the vaccine to those without insurance. You can find more information from the Pertussis section of our website.

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We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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Brote de tos ferina en el condado de Eddy