Children's Hospital Identifies One Additional Employee with Pertussis

No patients have been identified with Pertussis.

No patients have been identified with Pertussis.

Seattle, Wash.: September 5, 2004. After completing a large number of diagnostic tests over the last 48 hours Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center has identified only one additional staff member with Pertussis. The staff member is a physician who worked in the Emergency Department on September 1 and 2 between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Children’s Hospital is contacting patients, families and staff members who may have had face-to-face contact with this physician on the nights of September 1 and 2. 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 continues to work with Public Health Seattle & King County to control the spread of this illness.

On Friday, September 3, Children’s announced that three employees were diagnosed with Pertussis and may have exposed patients and visitors to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) since August 9, 2004. The hospital has not identified any patients who have developed Pertussis.

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 10 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 or having had the disease can last less than 10 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.

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About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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