HAN: Pertussis Advisory

Pertussis ADVISORY: Clarification regarding recommendations for prophylactic treatment of contacts

Background: The pertussis outbreak in Western Montana continues with Missoula County experiencing 169 confirmed cases since April 17. Please be aware that this is an ongoing communitywide outbreak. The ages of confirmed cases range from infant through adulthood with the majority of cases having received pertussis vaccination. Several of the confirmed cases were never identified as a contact to a positive case and their exposure is unknown.

The health department requests that health care providers please:

Suspect: Evaluate for pertussis symptoms regardless of immunization status and perform PCR testing for Bordetella pertussis in patients presenting with symptoms.

Treat: Treat confirmed and suspect cases with the appropriate antibiotics and instruct the patient to self-isolate (exclude) until completion of 5 days of antibiotics. MCCHD is not recommending prophylactic treatment except in the following circumstances:

  • Please treat all household members with prophylactic antibiotics per CDC guidelines
  • Please consider treatment of identified close contacts in the following risk categories:
    • Pregnant
    • Infant under 12 months old
    • Immune compromised individuals
    • Persons with moderate to severe medically treated respiratory disease

Vaccinate: Offer vaccination to children and adults who have not received their full series or the Tdap booster. CDC recommends a Tdap booster for pregnant women with each pregnancy.

Report: Quickly report suspect and confirmed cases of pertussis to MCCHD.

For questions or more information, please contact the Missoula City-County Health Department
Infectious Disease Office at 258-3896 or the Communicable Disease Epidemiology Section of DPHHS
at 444‐0273.

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