Whooping Cough on the rise

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Cases of whooping cough are on the rise in Texas, and medical experts want you to keep yourself protected.

Director of Health with the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health District, Lou Kreidler said there has been at least 10 confirmed cases of the virus in the Lone Star state and they are looking for a reason as to why.

"On a normal month, sometimes we will have any," said Kreidler. "Sometimes one or two, so it is an increased number."

Her biggest concern is babies.

"It can be very dangerous for infants a baby can't start their vaccination series until they are two months old," said Kreidler.
"It is the very young kids especially those babies that have had no vaccine at all that we are worried about."

Whooping cough can be deadly, but there are early signs to detect it.

"You cough so much that you lose the air in your lungs and you'll get a very distinctive cough that sounds like a whoop, which is how it gets its name whooping cough," said Kreidler.
"If your child is coughing and then vomiting it's a sign for whooping cough," said Tiffany Sinclair, a Nurse Practitioner at Community Urgent Care.  "It's kind of hard to tell in the early stages because it does mimic just a normal upper respiratory infection, but if you have high suspicious or not vaccinated then you would test with a swab."

Sinclair said if you get whooping cough, it is best to catch it early.
"Most of the time it is seen in children under 10 that are still trying to develop your immune system," said Sinclair.  "A healthy individual can usually get over it within 6 weeks without an antibiotic."

Kreidler said the best thing you can do if you have whooping cough is to isolate yourself.
"You may not even know it you may have a cough that doesn't go away," said Kreidler.  "You may feel a little bad but it is not as dangerous as it is for an adult as it is for a child and no grandparent or friend of the family wants to be responsible for a child having whooping cough."

Kreidler said that they are encouraging all pregnant women to go ahead and get vaccinated if they have not already.  She said it is important to keep the virus away from your newborn as much as possible before they can get vaccinated at 2 months old.

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