Whooping cough outbreak hits Douglas CountyThe Douglas County Public Health Service is responding to an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in a local child care center.
The Douglas County Public Health Service is responding to an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in a local child care center. Public Health Nurses have contacted parents of children who attend the center to recommend preventive antibiotics or further evaluation. At this point, two children have been confirmed with pertussis and several others are undergoing further testing.
Pertussis is a contagious bacterial disease affecting the respiratory tract that spreads by coughing and often through repeated face-to-face contact. Wisconsin is currently experiencing a widespread outbreak of the disease, with 3,496 confirmed and probable cases as of July 31.
Pertussis symptoms often begin like a cold, with a low-grade fever and a mild, irritating cough that can appear within seven to 20 days after exposure. The illness can progress to explosive coughing that can interrupt breathing, eating and sleeping, and may be followed by vomiting.
Those with symptoms should contact their health care provider about being tested and treated. Those with pertussis should stay home from school, work or other activities until completing at least the first five days of the recommended antibiotic therapy. Close contacts of an individual diagnosed with pertussis should also be given antibiotics to prevent developing the disease.
“The best defense against pertussis continues to be vaccination,” said Dr. Henry Anderson, state health officer. For more go to www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/pertussis.htm or call (715) 395-1304.