Greene County News Report
XENIA — Four cases of whooping cough have been confirmed in the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District as of Thursday, according to Greene County Public Health.
“Greene County Public Health continues to work with Bellbrook-Sugarcreek schools, physicians and the community to identify and notify students and residents that have possibly been exposed,” a release from the public health authority stated. “If you or your child has been around someone with pertussis, you may become sick with pertussis (whooping cough) as well. This is especially true when you or your child has not received all the pertussis vaccine shots. Sometimes even if your shots are up to date, you may still be able to get pertussis.”
Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. Pertussis begins with cold symptoms and cough, which become much worse over one to two weeks, according to Greene County Public Health.
“Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs (‘coughing fits’) followed by a whooping noise,” the release stated. “However, older children, adults and very young infants may not develop the whoop. There is generally only a slight fever. People with pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching breath. The cough is often worse at night and cough medicines usually do not help alleviate the cough.”
Coughing fits due to pertussis infection can last for up to 10 weeks or more.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.
“Pertussis is generally treated with antibiotics and early treatment is very important,” CDC information about pertussis states. “Treatment may make your infection less serious if it is started early, before coughing fits begin. Treatment can also help prevent spreading the disease to close contacts (people who have spent a lot of time around the infected person).”
Greene County Public Health urges those with the symptoms to contact their health care provider. For more information, call Amy Schmitt at 937-374-5638 or Dr. Don Brannen at 937-374-5660 at Greene County Public Health, or visit the CDC at cdc.gov.
Greene County News Report compiled by Nathan Pilling.