The United States is on course for a record year for pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, and there are outbreaks being reported tonight in parts of our viewing area.
More than a dozen cases in recent weeks have been reported in Madison and Estill Counties, according to the respective health departments there.
“We’ve never had this many cases over the last 5 years,” Judy Collins, Bluegrass Region Epidemiologist says. “We’re in the double digits now, so it’s above and beyond what we would normally expect for this time of the year.”
Collins says there are three stages to pertussis:
(1) Runny Nose, Sneezing
(2) Mild Cough – Worst at Night
(3) Violent Cough
If left untreated, the cough lasts 6 to 8 weeks and is very contagious.
“It’s much worse for young people, for babies in particular because their lungs, their respiratory system is not as well developed as an adults would be,” Collins adds.
She says if you think you have whooping cough to stay home and visit your doctor for treatment.