A Statement Regarding Pertussis in Connecticut 11.14.13

The Department of Public Health has received reports of four confirmed cases of pertussis in East Lyme this year. Cases of pertussis in Connecticut are not rare and clusters of cases are not uncommon. The number of reported cases of pertussis vary from year to year. This year, Connecticut is on track to see the lowest number of pertussis cases it has seen in over ten years. So far in 2013, there have been 39 cases of pertussis reported, in comparison to 156 reported cases around this time last year.

It is important that parents vaccinate and get the recommended booster doses for their children to protect them from pertussis. Pregnant women should also receive a booster dose towards the end of each pregnancy to help protect the baby from pertussis in the early newborn period. If caregivers have specific questions regarding pertussis, they should contact their primary care provider or their local health department. Ledge Light Health District provides pertussis vaccine to eligible individuals. Contact Kris Magnussen at 860-448-4882 ext. 331 or kmagnussen@llhd.org for details.

Additional information about pertussis can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/


Protecting yourself or your children from vaccine-preventable diseases is an important part of healthy living. While vaccines, like any medicine, can have side-effects, they are an important tool in the fight against dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases.

The CDC has issued a Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule (which can be viewed and/or downloaded from the link below, see “Helpful Resources”) for recommended vaccination throughout childhood. It is important to know that even though many infectious diseases have been reduced or eliminated, the viruses or bacteria that cause them are still a threat. Routine vaccinations have limited outbreaks of the diseases – but stopping immunizations would result in dangerous and possibly deadly outbreaks.

Immunizations are not just for kids! From influenza to tetanus, adults are getting vaccinated too. Generally, vaccination decisions for adults are made considering their health condition, age, lifestyle and occupation.

Tdap Vaccine Available

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a significant cause of death in infants worldwide. In infants, pertussis may present as a severe cough (some with the characteristic ‘whoop”) that can cause difficulty in breathing and may provoke episodes of apnea( breathing temporarily stopping). The disease can be devastating to infants, especially in those less than six months old. Death from pertussis is most common in this age group. Most infants with pertussis contract if from a close family member who unknowingly has the disease.

The Connecticut Department of Health Immunization Program established a Cocoon Program to protect newborns during the summer of 2008. The strategy of cocooning is to put a protective cocoon of immunity around the infant by vaccinating those that may come in contact with them. Post-partum women and fathers, mothers and fathers of NICU babies, adoptive families, and household contacts and caregivers of infants aged less than 12 months are eligible to receive the Tdap vaccine. Ledge Light Health District provides that vaccine to eligible individuals.

Please contact Kris Magnussen at 860-448-4882 ext. 331 to set up an appointment.

Helpful Resources

  •   Immunization Brochure
  • Review the latest Immunization Schedules from the CDC and make sure your family is protected.
  • If you are planning to travel to another country, you should consider the vaccination recommendations involved far enough in advance to obtain any required. For information about Traveler’s Health, including vaccination schedules, check with the CDC on their website.
  • For more information about immunizations, visit the Immunization Action Coalition website.