PARKERSBURG, WV - As the weather changes, coughing becomes a more familiar sound. Is it just allergies, or a cold, or something more severe such as Pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough?
Whooping Cough — known medically as Pertussis — is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. The best way to prevent it is through vaccinations. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both DTaP and Tdap protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
Although the symptoms in adults may not be severe, whooping cough can be life threatening for infants that have not been vaccinated. Pertussis is a very contagious disease only found in humans. It is spread from person to person. People with pertussis usually spread the disease to another person by coughing or sneezing or when spending a lot of time near one another where you share breathing space. Many babies that get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers that might not even know they have the disease. Infected people are most contagious up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Antibiotics may shorten the amount of time someone is contagious.
It is important for pregnant mothers as well as all family members that may be in contact with the baby get a booster vaccine. Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department offer DTaP and Tdap vaccines at all six locations.
For an appointment, contact the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department at 1-888-550-6797.