With 1,407 reported cases as of Dec. 8, Colorado's pertussis epidemic has exceeded the number of cases seen in the state going back at least six decades. The last time Colorado experienced this level of pertussis, commonly referred to as whooping cough, was in 1948 with 1,833 cases, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
There was one pertussis death in October of this year - an older adult in Larimer County. This is the first whooping cough death in the state since 2005, when there were two infant deaths. Whooping cough is typically most dangerous for babies and young children, but can affect people of all ages.
It is recommended all adults and children receive the whooping cough booster vaccine, Tdap.
As a provision of the Affordable Care Act, people with insurance can get immunizations, including the whooping cough shot, at no cost at their doctor's office. For more information on the act and preventive care coverage go to pricelessprevention.org.
It was announced this week that GJ business owner Jessica Jackson-Morris has taken on the role of the 2013 March for Babies Chair. March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event for the March of Dimes, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013.
Jackson-Morris is the CEO of Maid 2 Impress, a commercial cleaning company. She is also a proud mother of two, making her commitment to the good health of moms and babies personal and meaningful.
As chair, Jackson-Morris will play an integral role in raising awareness and funds to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of the March of Dimes efforts to prevent pre-term birth and birth defects.
Last year, the Western Slope March for Babies raised $130,000. Jackson-Morris has made the commitment to raise $25,000 in new revenue as part of the 2013 March for Babies total goal of $140,000.
Western Slope residents can sign up today at www.marchforbabies.org and start a team with co-workers, family and friends. Last year, more than 750 people attended the event, which will be held Saturday, April 27, at Lincoln Park.