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Number of whooping cough cases in Henderson County increases overnight

The number of whooping cough, or pertussis, cases in Henderson County continues to increase. Wednesday that number was at 18, up four cases from Tuesday. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The number of whooping cough, or pertussis, cases in Henderson County continues to increase. Wednesday that number was at 18, up four cases from Tuesday.

Health officials said whooping cough, a serious respiratory infection caused by pertussis bacteria that affects the lungs and breathing tubes, is very dangerous, especially to infants. And it can be spread easily from person to person through coughs and sneezes.

Officials estimate 1,000 individuals in schools and the community have come in contact with someone who has it.

If you have been notified that you or a family member may have been exposed:

  • If the person who had contact with a case has symptoms, stay home to keep others from getting sick and contact your doctor for appropriate care.
  • If the doctor thinks you may have whooping cough and gives you an antibiotic, you should stay home until you finish taking the medication.
  • If the person who had contact does not have symptoms but has an infant, pregnant woman or someone with a weakened immune system in their home, contact the health department or school nurse.
  • If you have not been notified that you or a family member may have been exposed and you have symptoms, stay home to keep others from getting sick and contact your doctor for appropriate care.

Because of the increase in cases of whooping cough, Park Ridge Health is implementing visitor restrictions.

  • No hospital visitors under the age of 18 permitted.
  • Visitors are limited to immediate family and clergy only.
  • The number of visitors is limited to one or two at a time, unless special circumstances are presented.
  • No hospital visitors with a cough or other whooping cough symptoms permitted.

“Park Ridge Health has been tracking the increase in Pertussis activity in our communities, which has reached the point where visitor restrictions are in the best interest for the safety of our patients,” said Jimm Bunch, Park Ridge Health president & CEO.

Click here to learn more about whooping cough and its risks.

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