Whooping-cough cases continue increasing in St. Croix CountyThe St. Croix County Public Health Department says since the beginning of the year, it has received 85 laboratory confirmed cases of pertussis disease, commonly known as whooping cough.
The St. Croix County Public Health Department says since the beginning of the year, it has received 85 laboratory confirmed cases of pertussis disease, commonly known as whooping cough.
In June the Public Health Department reported 12 cases of pertussis, which is a contagious disease that may result in hospitalization. It causes serious illness in babies, young children and pregnant women.
The disease is spread by an infected coughing person. It begins much like a cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and a mild-but-irritating cough for one-to-two weeks. After one or two weeks, severe coughing can begin. The illness progresses to spells of explosive coughing that can interrupt breathing, eating and sleeping that are commonly followed by vomiting and exhaustion.
Pertussis is diagnosed from a laboratory-confirmed nasal specimen collected during the early stage of the illness.
Anyone who is tested for pertussis should be treated with prescribed antibiotic prescribed at the same visit and instructed to stay isolated at home until they receive a negative test result or complete five days of antibiotic treatment.
Anyone who has been identified as a close contact to someone infected with pertussis case and who has cold-like symptoms should see their doctor, get tested and treated, and stay isolated. In addition, antibiotic treatment is recommended for well people who are close contacts to the person diagnosed with pertussis.
Treatment may make the infection less severe if it is started early, before coughing begins. Treatment can also help prevent spreading the disease to close contacts and is necessary for stopping the spread of pertussis.
There are antibiotics that will shorten the period of the spread of the disease, but an individual may cough for up to three months.
The best way to prevent whooping cough among infants, children, teens, and adults is to get vaccinated. Also, keep infants and other people at high risk for pertussis complications away from infected people.