Whooping Cough

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.

The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated.  Our Health Department locations in Clay, Jackson, and Rockcastle County have free or low cost Tdap vaccine for adults who need a booster against pertussis.  Call you local health department for more information.

For more information about the whooping cough visit the CDC’s website!


The health department provides immunizations to reduce the risk of diseases such as influenza, measles, rubella, and tetanus that is known to be preventable by vaccines.  There are many vaccines available at your local health department that can provide protection for you and children.

Services include:

  • Providing vaccines with the Vaccines for Children at no cost to eligible participants
  • Issuing immunization certificates for children for school entry
  • Ensuring that our population has a high rate of required immunizations to decrease the incidence and risk of disease in our community
  • Participating in an immunization registry that provides better coordination of sharing of information with your medical provider
  • Promoting vaccine safety
  • Supporting efforts to increase vaccinations for all Kentuckians