numbers taxing county
Express Staff Writer
number of Blaine County residents currently suffering from the bacterial
infection whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has risen to 165,
according to Linda Johnson, the senior public health nurse for Blaine
County. All of the schools and day cares throughout the Wood River
Valley are affected.
said valley doctorsí offices are receiving between 50 to 100 calls a
day. "There is a heightened awareness," she said.
Smith, public information officer for the South Central Health District,
said, "If youíve got kids who havenít gotten full
immunizations, for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, then you need to
keep up on those and make sure that youíre current."
begin getting DTaP immunizations at the age of 2 months. The last one is
given at the age of 5.
phone calls a day are coming into the Hailey Medical Clinic, said
physician assistant Nanette Ford, "Itís taxing our
of the overwhelming response to the situation people should only test if
there are symptoms, Ford said. With one swab a lab can do three tests:
direct fluorescent antibody, polymerase chain reaction, and a culture.
The results come back from the state lab in Boise within two to three
three stages of whooping cough: The first is similar to a two-week cold;
the second stage is coughing that can last for months if untreated, and
the third is the telltale intermittent explosive coughing.
is a noise that comes from the voice box after a paroxysm when the
sufferer is suddenly able to take in a breath again. Only about 50
percent of whooping cough sufferers whoop, but this is the origin
of the name.
measures of antibiotic treatment are only recommended for exposed
families, offices, classrooms or day care centers. However, a person is
only protected for the time they are on antibiotics and if they are
exposed again. must retake the antibiotics.
incubation period is between one and three weeks. While a person is
taking antibiotics they are still infectious for five days.
untreated pertussis can be fatal in severe cases. Infants and the
elderly are particularly at risk since they may not be able to expel
phlegm from their lungs, a condition, which can lead to pneumonia.
information, a good web site is www.whoopingcough.net.