Whooping Cough in Maricopa County

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Whooping Cough in Maricopa County
The community I have chosen is Maricopa County located in southeast Arizona. According to the United Census Bureau (2011), Maricopa County has an estimated population of 3,880,244. The county has a total area of 9,224.27 square miles, of which 9,203.14 square miles (or 99.77%) is land and 21.13 square miles (or 0.23%) is water (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). Maricopa County is the fourth largest county in the United States. The population in Maricopa County equates to more than half of the state’s total residents. The breakdown of the estimated population in Maricopa County is persons 65 years old and over is 12.5%, persons 18 years and under is 26% and persons 5 years old and younger is 7.2%. The remaining 54.3% is person’s age 19 years old to 64 years old.

While there are many epidemiology topics to choose from in Maricopa County, the one I chose is Pertussis also called and known as whooping cough. Whooping cough is caused by exposure to bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. It is considered a vaccine-preventable disease. It is highly contagious and is spread from droplet contact from the nose and throat of an infected person. The signs and symptoms of the disease begin 7 to 10 days after exposure. The symptoms begin with a mild cough and cold. It then progresses to severe episodes of coughing spasms that can lead to vomiting due to the coughing. The coughing episodes can last for several months. A person is considered contagious during the first 21 days after the onset of coughing. Once treatment begins with the appropriate antibiotic, the contagious/infectious period shortens to 5 days. Serious complications of whooping cough include pneumonia, seizures, middle ear infection, dehydration, encephalopathy and/or brain damage, and death.

Whooping cough is a communicable disease. Due to the nature of whooping cough being highly contagious, an outbreak of the disease can be serious and affect a large amount of people in a...
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