New whooping cough cases in Henderson Co.

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FILE

HENDERSON Co., NC (WSPA) – Students at multiple schools in Henderson Co. and people throughout the community have tested positive for whooping cough, also known as pertussis, according to Kim Horton with Henderson Co. Dept. of Public Health.

There are 13 cases so far. There were originally 8 cases.

About 1,000 people in schools and the community have been identified as having close contact with someone who has whooping cough, according to the report.

What is Pertussis?
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a serious respiratory infection caused by the pertussis bacteria that affects the lungs and breathing tubes. Whooping cough is easily spread when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms
1. Can begin up to 21 days after exposure
2. Start much like the common cold with sneezing, runny nose, mild cough
3. Coughing fits that may cause vomiting and make it hard to breathe can begin 1-2 weeks after first symptoms and can last for months.

Who is at Risk
1. Anyone can get whooping cough. Even those who have been fully vaccinated can get the infection but will have milder symptoms.
2. Whooping cough is especially dangerous for infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.

What should I do?
1. If you have been notified that you or a family member may have been exposed:
a) If the person who had contact with a case has symptoms, STAY HOME TO KEEP OTHERS FROM GETTING SICK and contact your doctor for appropriate care.
(1) If the doctor thinks you may have whooping cough and gives you an antibiotic, you should stay home until you finish taking the medication.