whopping pain in the throat for valley
and GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writers
number of whooping cough cases recently reported in Blaine County has
risen to 30.
to South Central District Health, many of the cases reported since the
apparent outbreak began Sept. 20 have been of school children. The
agency is encouraging all local residents to make sure their children
are up to date on immunizations.
medical terms as pertussis, the bacteria-caused disease gets its common
name from the rapid inhalation of air that occurs between paroxysms of
coughing experienced by its sufferers.
is a serious disease for young children and persons with serious medical
problems," Lisa Klamm, South Central District Health immunization
the Health District office, says that the situation is under control.
itís a bacterial infection, like the flu, it can be treated with
antibiotics. People most at risk for catching it from children are
contagious, the State Communicable Disease Center said "It would be
inappropriate at this time to consider closing any Blaine County schools
as there is no basis for it."
vaccines were introduced in the mid-1940s, after which the incidence of
this disease in the United States declined. However, since 1980 the
incidence has been rising. In 1996, 7,796 cases occurred, the highest
annual number reported since 1967.
agency recommends a series of five vaccinations beginning at age 2
months. Although infants and young children continue to have the highest
rates of pertussis, those rates have not increased since 1993. On the
other hand, the incidence among teens and adults has increased. Since
immunity from the vaccine may decline with age, youths and adults may be
susceptible to catching the disease. There is, however, no vaccine
approved for people over 7 years old.
signs of pertussis include a cold followed by a persistent cough.
Coughing attacks continue for four to six weeks.
someone has a persistent cough for several days, they should see a
doctor or call the District Health Office at 788-4335 for more