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Vaccination clinic aims to prevent spread of whooping cough

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Aug 16 2013 05:58:48 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 16 2013 06:33:38 PM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

The Butte-Silver Bow Health Department is working to prevent a possible whooping cough outbreak before the school year begins.

The kids at Clark Park on Friday were only worried about having fun in the sun, but with school approaching, parents are starting to think about keeping their kids healthy and safe. That's why they're considering having them get the whooping cough vaccine.

Butte resident Judy Schieve said, "I hate to see any kid with that because it's very hard on them and it's contagious."

That's where the Butte Health Department comes in. They're taking preventive steps ahead of the start of school and offering a walk-in clinic for families to update on their vaccinations. City-county health officials said it's a problem they want to get ahead of.

Public Health Nurse Karen Maloughney explained, "We've had 24 confirmed cases of Pertussis so we're encouraging, not only children that need the Pertussis vaccine, but also adults to get the same vaccine."

Some parents said they didn't realize it was available to them, but they are prepared to get it to protect their kids.

"I have a 6-year-old son," said Lee Thurmond, "so I think as far as getting that, it's important because of how much it can be spread from the parents and how vulnerable it does leave the young."

"It's important to get control over this," said Maloughney, "because when infants are born, they don't have any protection against this bacteria. They can't get their first shot until they're 2-months-old, so they don't have any way to fight on this disease."

One mother said it's essential to educate yourself to keep you and your family safe.

"Most definitely recommend people Googling it and getting their facts," Jammie Hendrickson said. "Especially if they have little ones in school or day care, or if you work with the population and public in general, it's nice to protect yourself."

The Pertussis clinic will run from August 19 through September 5, every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department.