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ACCOMACK COUNTY The Eastern Shore Health District is urging residents to get their free Tdap vaccine because a case of whooping cough has been confirmed.

Pertussis is a highly-contagious respiratory disease spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing. State health officials say there were 384 reported cases in infants in 2010.

Henry Kurban, MD, director of the Eastern Shore Health District, said Wednesday, 'Protection from the childhood vaccine wears off over time, generally in five to ten years, so teens and adults should be revaccinated.

He suggests parents, siblings, grandparents and caregivers of infants should make sure their pertussis vaccine is current.

To make an appointment, call in Accomack County 757-787-5880 or in Northampton County dial 757-442-6228. Tdap may also be available at your doctor's office.

PERTUSSIS SYMPTOMS:
The infection typically starts like a cold, with a runny nose, sneezing, and mild cough. The cough lasts 1-2 weeks and then worsens, occurring in fits sometimes followed by a whooping noise, gagging or vomiting.

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