Cases of whooping cough found in W.Va.

May 18, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Several cases of whooping cough have been detected in Jefferson County, W.Va., in the past week and parents of children are being urged to review their children's immunization records to make sure their kids are protected from the disease, Jefferson County Health Department officials said.

The cases have occurred in individuals who have not been vaccinated, officials said.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, can be a serious disease, especially among children, although deaths are rare, according to a news release from the health department.

Whooping cough is contagious and can spread easily in a household, the release said.

Whooping cough starts with symptoms similar to a common cold. Children suffering whooping cough can develop fits of coughing at night with the characteristic "whoop," the release said.

The whooping is a sign that the individual is struggling to breathe between coughs, the release said.

Making sure children have their shots on time is the best way to prevent the spread of the disease, the release said.


Children should receive four doses of DTaP vaccine by 15 months of age and another dose before they start school, the release states.

Immunity has been waning in adults and there is a special vaccine for adults, the release said.

Antibiotics can also be prescribed to minimize symptoms, health officials said.

All parents are being urged to check their children's vaccine records, health officials said. If parents are not sure if their children have been vaccinated, they should contact their doctor, pediatrician or the health department.

Information about whooping cough can be obtained from the health department along Wiltshire Road in Bardane.

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