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Local health district investigates 3 pertussis cases

WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District announced Wednesday that it was investigating three cases of whooping cough, known as whooping cough.

(MGN / file)

Due to privacy laws, health district officials would not disclose many details except for children. Although they do not belong to the same family, they share a common bond.

"We are conducting a survey of every sick person, or their family, to determine where they were and see if there is a risk of spread or other such cases," Kelly said. Craine, public health information specialist at Waco. McLennan County Public Health District.

Pertussis can cause a severe cough that can last for weeks or months and can lead to coughing or vomiting.

"People can cough hard enough to break their ribs, a very severe cough," said Dr. Priya Srinivasan, pediatrician of Baylor Scott & White Health. "In younger children, they may not make that pertussis noise, but you will have a very severe persistent cough, they may stop breathing, vomit, have feeding problems because of cough, and this stage can last up to three months. "

The disease can be tricky to diagnose at first because it has symptoms similar to those of a cold such as cough and fever.

"It's not always obvious," said Craine. "But in two weeks, this cough will become extremely coughing."

Anyone can get it, but it's especially dangerous for babies, pregnant women and the elderly with weakened immune systems.

"What scares us, doctors, is basically with the youngest infants, they can actually stop breathing," Srinivasan said. "There have been cases of young infants too young who are vaccinated and who may die, potentially, of the disease."

According to the authorities, there were only two confirmed cases of pertussis in McLennan County in 2018, and they were not related.

"Unfortunately, with growing skepticism about vaccines, it is increasing a bit," said Srinivasan.

Health experts say that vaccination is the best protection against attack and spread.

"The way you protect yourself – one, of course, is to wash your hands, cover your cough, these are good ways to do it, as well as to be fully vaccinated," said Craine. "Vaccination is so important because our infants do not get their first vaccination for three months, and you're not fully protected before 15 months because it's a series of vaccines, and so for all children who are not fully protected, we, as adults, must also be vaccinated. "

Srinivasan agreed.

"If everyone gets vaccinated, the incidence of the disease decreases and there is not much risk that someone contracts it if no one can actually spread the disease", a- she declared.

If the doctor catches a nasal swab or a blood test in time, the disease can be treated with antibiotics.

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