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Whooping cough vaccine available to battle outbreak

So far in 2012, there have been a total of 1,738 cases of pertussis — commonly known as whooping cough — reported statewide through May 19, according to the Department of Health. - Courtesy photo
So far in 2012, there have been a total of 1,738 cases of pertussis — commonly known as whooping cough — reported statewide through May 19, according to the Department of Health.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

King County announced that low-cost vaccinations for pertussis, better known as whooping cough, are being offered in regional QFC and Bartell Drugs stores.

The shot, known as the Tdap vaccine, is offered throughout the state as Washington battles an outbreak of the contagious disease. So far in 2012, there have been a total of 1,738 cases reported statewide through May 19, according to the Department of Health, compared to 146 reported cases in 2011 during the same time period.

Whooping cough can last six weeks or more. This bacterial disease is characterized by the "whoop" sound made by the child taking a breath after coughing.

In Federal Way, Tdap shots are available at:

• Fred Meyer located on 21st Avenue SW

• Rite-Aid locations at Pacific Highway and 336th Street

The 320th Street Safeway

• The Sav-on located at 31009 Pacific Highway S.

• All three Walgreens locations in the city

The nearest locations for the low-cost vaccine are Bartell Drugs at 3902 A Street SE in Auburn and the Bartell Drugs locations in Des Moines. A full listing of locations giving out vaccines, low-cost or not, can be found at www.kingcounty.gov/health/pertussis.

The county notes that many community health care clinics and providers are offering low-cost Tdap shots to community members. Through health care providers or pharmacies, a dose may cost up to $15.60. In comparison, the county notes, the regular cost of the Tdap shot without insurance can range between $60 and $100.

While whooping cough is a miserable experience for children, teens and adults, it's an especially dangerous disease to infants and expectant mothers. The county advises residents to check up on their immunization status as a matter of precaution.

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