WASHINGTON — Two confirmed cases of pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, have been diagnosed in Daviess County infants. Close contacts have been identified and started on preventative medication and if needed, the age appropriate vaccination for pertussis, according to Daviess County Health Nurse Jane Norton.
All area healthcare providers have also been alerted by the Daviess County Health Department, Norton said.
Pertussis can be a very serious disease, particularly for infants less than one year of age. The disease is spread through the air from the sick person during talking, sneezing or coughing. The illness starts with symptoms similar to a common cold but progresses with a lingering cough. Most, but not all children, suffering from pertussis often develop coughing fits, especially at night, giving a high-pitched “whoop” sound. The “whoop” is a sign that the person is struggling to breathe between coughs. Incubation period is 5 to 21 days; usually seven to 10 days.
Indiana has had three infants die from complications of pertussis this year. Cases of pertussis nationwide are the highest reported in the past 30 years.
[Note from SaneVax: Before everyone panics, the SaneVax Team would like to know if the confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) were caused by vaccine-relevant strains of pertussis bacteria. If they were not, mass vaccination will do no good.]