Pertussis, also known as the “whooping cough”, is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing (Gregory, 2013). Early symptoms are similar to those from common colds, but when Pertussis progresses, it can turn to deep cough and potentially vomiting with little or no fever. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The disease can be very serious in children less than 1 year of age where it can cause lung infections and, less often, seizures or inflammation of the brain. In rare cases, pertussis can result in death, especially in infants (VDH, 2012). The purpose of this investigation is to help people understand the potential risk of having Pertussis, urge people take necessary actions to prevent the disease, and cite recommendations from CDC for health professionals to follow in their work. Community
The Richmond tri-city Metro area. The area covers the city of Richmond, surrounded by 2 counties, Chesterfield and Henrico. This area has relative dense population with over 200 schools, which creates an ideal environment for the break of a contagious illness such as Pertussis. While it is desired to focus on the topic to a smaller area, the data for Pertussis isn’t readily available at county or city level, so for this discussion, the community of interest is the entire Virginia state. Demographic and Epidemiological data
Virginia has just over 7 million in population from the 2000 census. If we follow the recommendation from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: pertussis vaccine for persons 65 or older who have close contact with infants, pregnant women, new mothers who are breastfeeding and health care or childcare professionals who have direct contact with infants and young children, there’re about 1.2 million people that fall under this category just by age, and it is estimated that over 4 million people will have...