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Whooping Cough cases in Wichita Falls

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports
  • 82nd Public Health Flight
There has been an increase in Pertussis cases in Wichita County. Pertussis is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted from person to person - parent to child - by coughing and sneezing in a shared breathing space. Pertussis is commonly known as "Whooping Cough" because of the sound made when gasping for air after coughing. Pertussis most commonly affects babies, young children, and the elderly. More than 50 percent of infected babies will require hospitalization while about 10 percent will get pneumonia. Pertussis is most contagious in the first two weeks of showing signs and symptoms.

Early Signs and Symptoms

· Runny or stuffed-up nose.
· Low-grade fever.
· Mild, occasional cough - progresses after one to two weeks to paroxysms (fits) of coughing, possibly followed by a "whooping" sound.
· Apnea - a pause in breathing (in babies).


· Vaccinations - five doses of DTaP at six weeks, four months, six months, 15-18 months and four to six years of age.
· Tdap booster at age 11-18 years of age (at age 11-12 is recommended), as an adult, and during every pregnancy.
· Hygiene - cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water is not available.
· Keep anyone with a cough away from your newborn until your baby has had three whooping cough vaccines.

While you may have received the vaccine or antibiotics, these preventive actions aren't 100 percent effective. Parents can also help protect their children by keeping them away, as much as possible, from anyone who has cold symptoms or is coughing. If pertussis is suspected, patients should not go to work, school, etc. until diagnosis is confirmed and the patient is no longer infectious.

For more information, please contact Public Health at 676-3052 or visit: