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Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Outbreak Information

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Outbreak Information
Posted on 06/10/2015
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The Reno County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of Pertussis (Whooping Cough).  This disease is a highly contagious respiratory infection commonly referred to as "whooping cough."  Pertussis often causes serious problems and can be fatal in infants less than one year of age.  Symptoms in adults and older children can be less severe.  Symptoms generally appear 7-21 days after exposure.  Pertussis usually starts out with cold or flu-like symptoms including:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • fever
  • cough which lasts 1-2 weeks

Symptoms worsen over time and the cough generally gets more severe.  Coughing spells in the next stages of Pertussis can be followed by the "whoop" sound that is made when trying to inhale during or after a severe  coughing spell.  Lips may also turn blue and vomiting may occur after a coughing spell.  Infants may have difficulty eating, drinking, and breathing.  This stage of Pertussis can last up to 6 weeks.  Those who are vaccinated can have symptoms that are milder and may seem like asthma or bronchitis.

Since school is out for the summer, children are involved in many different activities, camps, daycares, sports, and church functions.  With children involved in these activities, there can be an increased chance of exposure of the disease.  It is the Reno County Health Department's recommendation that if you are in contact with children who are coughing or ill, that you speak to the parents and encourage them to see a doctor.  For more information, please contact your health care provider or the Reno County Health Department at 620-694-2900.

Click here for a printable PDF letter from the Reno County Health Department.