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Health Alerts

The Snohomish Health District Health Officer Dr. Gary Goldbaum sends alerts via email to local health care providers. Alerts cover current local, regional or national health threats and important updates on medical care and protocols. Alerts are written as needed to cover urgent or emergent health issues.

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Pertussis & Educational opportunities

Today’s topics:

  • Pertussis
  • Educational opportunities


The number of confirmed pertussis cases reported has exploded over the past weeks. This year to date 319 cases have been reported statewide compared to 49 cases during the same interval in 2014. In Snohomish County, 40 cases have been reported this year to date, compared to 23 for all of 2014 and 57 in all of 2013. Although 32 (80%) of the 40 had been previously vaccinated, 33 of 40 (84%) were age 6+. This consistent with the increasing recognition that immunity wanes and so a booster is needed. Also as I noted in my last alert, many cases have been missed when first seen by providers, resulting in sustained transmission in the community. And despite considerable publicity over the past several years, some children and most adults have not been vaccinated.


  • Assure that all patients are current on their immunizations. Note that anyone aged 11 years and older should have one dose of Tdap vaccine. Pregnant women should receive Tdap vaccine at every pregnancy—the 28 week visit (when hyperglycemia screening is routine) is a perfect time.
  • Test symptomatic patients (nasopharyngeal swab for PCR) and treat with appropriate antibiotics at the initial visit—do not await test results.
  • Exclude ill persons from school, work, or child care until they have completed 5 days of antibiotics.
  • DO NOT test or exclude asymptomatic (non-infectious) contacts who are being seen for prophylaxis.
  • Call Communicable Disease Response at 425-339-5278 if you have questions about pertussis management.


Educational Opportunities

The federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) has partnered with the American Public Health Association (APHA) to produce Pathways to Safer Opioid Use (, a free online course offering 1 CME credit. This is timely, given the dramatic local increase in opioid overdoses over the past three years. The web-based training allows you to assume the role of 4 playable characters who make decisions – controlled by you – about preventing opioid-related adverse drug events.

Merck is sponsoring a breakfast educational program entitled “Update on HPV Vaccine and Raising HPV Immunization Rates”. The program will be from 7-8 AM on April 28th in the Snohomish Health District’s auditorium at 3020 Rucker Avenue in Everett. The presenter is Jay Lieberman, MD, Merck’s Regional Medical Director, Vaccines West Region. Only 22% of Snohomish County’s children aged 13-18 years of age have received this cancer-preventing vaccine, although the FDA approved it eight years ago. If interested in attending, please contact Mary O’Leary at

The Snohomish Health District with be hosting its biannual Vaccine Storage & Handling Expo from 9 AM to 1 PM on Wednesday, May 6. To help providers stay up to date with immunization best practices, presentations will include:

  1. Promoting teamwork among the clinic staff to increase immunization opportunities;
  2. Using the Reminder/Recall feature of the Washington State Immunization Information System (WSIIS) to keep patients on schedule; and
  3. How continuous temperature monitoring thermometers (data loggers) can save vaccine if an out of range temperature is detected.

Vendors will be onsite to answer questions about vaccines, storage units, thermometers, and services offered.  Our public health nurses will assist in WSAIS and inventory management skills. Please RSVP to Mary O’Leary at


Contact us

Communicable Disease


Did you know?

Health alerts include information about diseases or other health risks or issues that affect Snohomish County.