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Children's Hospital Identifies Three Employees with Pertussis

September 04, 2004

Seattle, Wash.: Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle has identified three employees who have been diagnosed with Pertussis who may have exposed patients and visitors to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) since August 9, 2004. At this time, the hospital has not identified any patients who have developed Pertussis.

Seattle, Wash.: Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle has identified three employees who have been diagnosed with Pertussis who may have exposed patients and visitors to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) since August 9, 2004. At this time, the hospital has not identified any patients who have developed Pertussis.

Children’s Hospital is contacting families of possibly exposed PICU patients. Families who have questions should contact Children’s Resource Line at (206) 987-2500 and press option 1 or their child’s doctor. Children’s is working with Public Health Seattle & King County to control the spread of this illness.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection that usually causes a prolonged coughing illness with little or no fever. An infected person has coughing episodes that may end in vomiting or cause a “whoop” sound when the person breathes in. The incubation period is usually seven to ten days but may be as long as 21 days.

Pertussis can infect people of any age. Even persons who have been immunized or had the disease may be susceptible because protection from the vaccine can last less than ten years.

Symptoms of Pertussis may include:
· The incubation period is usually seven to ten days but may be as long as 21 days.
· Most often Pertussis starts as a cold followed by a cough that worsens and can persist for up to two months.
· Vomiting may occur after severe coughing spells.
· The person may look and feel healthy between coughing episodes.
· Those who develop the disease despite being immunized usually have milder symptoms. The disease is most severe in infants less than six months of age.

For additional information on Pertussis please visit Public Health Seattle & King County website at www.metrokc.gov/health or the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov.

About Seattle Children's Hospital

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children’s has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org.

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