Whooping Cough Outbreak In Haredi Town Of Lakewood, NJ
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The haredi enclave of Lakewood, New Jersey had three reported cases of pertussis (whooping cough) last week alone, Ocean County health officials reportedly said.
Pertussis is a highly contagious and can be deadly in young children.
Ocean County Health Department officials told the APP the Lakewood haredi cases appear to be related to a much larger outbreak in haredi neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York.
Ocean County Health Department wants everyone who has contact with small children to immediately be vaccinated against pertussis.
Because of how symptoms often appear in adults, adults frequently do not realize what they have is whooping cough. At the same time, babies have not yet had the time to get their full vaccine range and can be exposed to pertussis – which can seriously sicken or even kill them – sometimes just because the adults around them are not vaccinated.
Protection against pertussis from vaccines decreases over time, and the health department is recommending all adults with contact with new babies should get a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
“[Pertussis] is especially dangerous for infants under 6 months of age, who are too young to be well protected by vaccines for whooping cough," Ocean County Health Department coordinator Daniel Regenye reportedly said in a statement.
The health department also wants all pregnant women to get the Tdap vaccine every time they’re pregnant, which will pass protective antibodies to the fetus before birth.
All family members of pregnant women and all people who plan to visit newborn or young babies are also asked to get a Tdap vaccine before the birth, as should babysitters, daycare workers, and all children in daycare.
If you’re over the age of 19, the Ocean County Health Department offers Tdap vaccinations on the first and third Tuesday of each month between 1 pm and 4 pm. No appointment is necessary.
The CHEMED Center in Lakewood also offers Tdap vaccines and can be reached at 732-364-2144, ext. 214.