No new whooping cough or flu cases reported
The number of whooping cough or pertussis cases reported in Morgan County still remains at five cases as it was last week, said Morgan County Health Department Administrator Margie Allgyer.
No additional cases have been reported from area physicians. However, there could still be more cases of whooping cough that haven’t been confirmed, Allgyer said. They’re seeing a slight decrease in calls and walk-ins, but it could pick back up again if more cases are reported.
The first case of whooping cough was identified at Warm Springs Middle School on December 15. Four additional confirmed cases were found— two at Widmyer Elementary and two at Warm Springs Intermediate School.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease known for its uncontrollable, violent coughing, which can make it difficult to breathe.
The whooping sound is made when someone with pertussis gasps for breath after coughing fits and breathes in deeply.
The disease can strike all ages, but is more severe in young children and babies. It can be fatal, especially in infants under one year of age. Whooping cough is treated with antibiotics.
Whooping cough begins with cold-like symptoms, a mild cough, a runny nose and possibly a slight fever and loss of appetite.
The cough progresses into violent and rapid coughing fits that can last from four to 10 weeks. The uncontrollable coughs are often followed by vomiting and exhaustion.
See your doctor if you or your children are having this kind of cough or trouble breathing. Make sure children’s immunizations are up-to-date.
Immunization is the best way to prevent whooping cough. DTaP vaccines for infants and children and Tdap vaccine for pre-teens, teens and adults protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Adults that are in close contact with infants should receive Tdap.
Mild to moderate side effects of the vaccine can include redness, swelling at the injection site, fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, joint pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and rash. Severe allergic reactions to any vaccine are rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
People can be screened at the Health Department between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday if they feel they have been exposed to whooping cough or they can see their family doctor. See your primary care physician if you are showing signs and symptoms of the disease, Allgyer said.
There are still no confirmed cases of seasonal influenza being reported in the county, Allgyer said. They are hearing informal mentions of the normal colds and intestinal flu going around, but no formal reports of influenza.
There also haven’t been any cases of the new swine flu variant flu strain here, she said.
Two cases of the H3N2 influenza variant were reported in Mineral County at a day care center right before Christmas.
There have been a total of 12 reported cases of H3N2v flu reported to the Centers for Disease Control since August, 2011—two in Indiana, three in Iowa, two in Maine, three in Pennsylvania and the two West Virginia cases in Mineral County.