Three cases of whooping cough reported in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Whooping cough can be dangerous, even deadly to infants, and there has been an outbreak in Louisville.

The Metro Dept. of Health and Wellness says there have been three cases of whooping cough this month, all of which were preventable. It wants parents to take action to prevent a further spread.

Ann Daugherty brings her children to Cherokee Park often for some fresh air and exercise.

“Usually about once every two weeks or once a week, something like that,” Daugherty said.

She's says she's conscious of her kids health, including staying up to date on vaccinations.

“Whooping cough is one of the main ones that we get for sure, always on schedule,” she said.

Daugherty was surprised to hear about the outbreak of whooping cough.

“Kind of sends a little bit of concern and fear,” she said.

“As a pediatrician, it's no surprise. We know that in the United States every year, there are outbreaks of pertussis. Kentucky has just been lucky,” said Dr. Julia Richerson, a pediatrician with Family Health Centers.

Symptoms of whooping cough or pertussis include a severe cough which makes breathing difficult.

The Health Dept. says the three new cases were all caused by parents delaying getting their kids vaccinated.

“The vaccine can wear off, so it's important to keep up to date on it and make sure teachers and everyone else gets a booster,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, the department’s interim director.

Doctors recommend that kids get the vaccine at ages 2, 4 and 6 months, with boosters at 15-18 months and 4-6 years. Another vaccination is recommended at age 11.

And doctors say it’s important that adults, especially pregnant women, be immunized as well.

“Adults who have the infection and are coughing can spread it to babies who may not be fully vaccinated yet, or other children and other adults,” said Dr. Richerson.

Ann Daugherty says she'll now make sure her vaccine is up to date.

“I haven't done that in a long time, so it's something I should look into."

The Health Dept. says the three children diagnosed with whooping cough received antibiotics and are recovering well.

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