Health officials warn against Whooping Cough as cases appear in - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Health officials warn against Whooping Cough as cases appear in southern Indiana

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Health officials say whooping cough is very contagious and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. An infected person can spread the disease for up to three weeks from once the coughing begins. Health officials say whooping cough is very contagious and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. An infected person can spread the disease for up to three weeks from once the coughing begins.
SALEM, Ind. (WDRB) -- Several cases of whooping cough were detected in Washington County, Indiana earlier this week. The health department says three people, two juveniles and one adult, are being treated with antibiotics for the disease.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, can cause coughing fits which can lead to ongoing breathing issues and in some cases can also lead to pneumonia and seizures. Generally, whooping cough is milder in children and adults. However, health leaders say it can be very dangerous for infants and the elderly.

“It can easily spread,” says Peggy Scott with the Washington County Health Department, "You need to protect those who can't get their vaccine or are too young to complete their vaccine.”

Of the three cases in Washington County, two were students in school. One of those students is in elementary school in the Salem Community School District. Letters went home with parents of students in the district warning them that another student had tested positive.

“It pretty much just said that someone had it in the elementary got it and that it could be spreading around all the schools around here,” said Austin Sparkman, an older brother of a Salem Middle School student.

Health officials say whooping cough is very contagious and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. An infected person can spread the disease for up to three weeks from once the coughing begins. In some cases, the cough can last three to four months.

“It's very contagious, it's starts off very much like the flu,” says Scott.

Which is why she says this time of year, it can be easily confused with other illnesses. The second stage of the illness is where whooping cough will separate itself from the cold and the flu. After one or two weeks the cough will often times become more intense which can be followed by vomiting, nose bleeds or even a bluish color to the lips.

Health department officials say they don't expect an outbreak any further than it has in Washington County but are keeping an eye on students in different districts as symptoms arise. They're also urging anyone with a cough lasting more than a week to be tested for whooping cough.

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