Texas Sees Rise in Cases of Pertussis
According to a report from Reuters, in the past year, close to 2,000 cases of pertussis (also known as whooping cough) have been reported in Texas alone. Because pertussis is highly infectious and can cause serious problems in infants—especially those under four months of age and therefore unable to be vaccinated—and children, these numbers are of great concern to doctors and health officials alike.
Early signs of whooping cough infection include runny nose, low-grade fever, apnea, and a mild cough. After 1-2 weeks, the symptoms worsen into fits of rapid coughing followed by the tell-tale high pitched “whoop”, vomiting, and extreme exhaustion.
Although most common (and dangerous) in infants and children, teens and adults can become infected as well. The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated and keep those that are contagious away from others. Boosters—called DTaP and protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis—are available for all ages and are especially recommended for those who come into contact regularly with infants.
For more information on prevention and treatment of whooping cough, visit the following:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Pertussis (Whooping Cough): http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html
MedlinePlus—Whooping Cough health topic page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/whoopingcough.html
Reuters—Whooping Cough Reaches Epidemic Level in Texas: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/06/us-usa-health-texas-idUSBRE98502A20130906