Posted: July 19, 2013
Pertussis, better known as whooping cough, is on the rise. The respiratory disease most commonly affects children under the age of one, and is most commonly spread to infants from adults who did not even know they had pertussis. The disease is preventable through vaccinations. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is advising people to get vaccinated, as the number of cases this year is the highest in decades.
In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that there were 41,000 cases of reported pertussis and 18 deaths, the most since 1955. The majority of deaths occur in children under the age of three months.
Pertussis can usually be identified by a horrible, uncontrollable, deep coughing noise. Click to hear the sound of a cough when the patient has pertussis.
While the cough is a trademark symptom of the illness, others may have a runny nose, a mild fever and a mild, occasional cough. It is important to get treatment as soon as you suspect pertussis. Infants are in the most danger from the illness.