Pertussis Cases on the rise, WDH raising awarness
Written by jordanmckamey on May 14, 2019
With recently increased cases of pertussis (whooping cough) concentrated in Campbell County, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is encouraging awareness of the disease locally and across the state, as well as promoting vaccination.
Five Campbell County pertussis cases have been reported to WDH over the past week, compared to one in all of 2018 and zero in 2017. There have been 13 reported cases statewide so far this year.
Clay Van Houten, infectious disease epidemiology unit manager with WDH states, quote, “Increased pertussis activity is something we watch closely because it can be so tough on infants.”
Pertussis typically begins with cold-like symptoms and perhaps a mild cough. Pertussis is often not suspected or diagnosed until a persistent cough with spasms sets in after one to two weeks. Infants and children can cough violently and rapidly with a loud “whooping” sound.
Van Houten said pertussis is not always recognized because it has not been especially common over the last several decades due to widespread immunizations. The most severe danger is for babies, those under age one who contract the disease, must be hospitalized.