Lewis County health officials tackling Whooping Cough outbreak

Lewis County health officials tackling Whooping Cough outbreak

WESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) — Multiple cases of Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough, have been reported recently in Lewis County.

The Lewis County Health Department in Weston (WDTV)

An outbreak of the diseases is defined as two or more cases. Health officials couldn’t release how many confirmed cases have been reported.

Dr. Brian Policano, a pediatrician at UHC Pediatrics in Bridgeport, said he’s been in contact with the health department in Lewis County about the cases.

“Kids that have not had any vaccines are at pretty high risk when exposed,” Policano said. “Even in young kids who may have only had their first vaccine. Certainly, any child who is not immunized for any reason is at pretty great risk.”

The disease is one of the mandatory cases the health department said it investigates.

It’s a highly contagious respiratory disease. The violent coughing can be deadly for babies. The symptoms develop within five to ten days, but also may not develop for as long as three weeks, according to the CDC.

The Health Department said outbreaks across the country are fairly common. Officials said they’re investigating and working closely with healthcare providers.

While children and babies are certainly susceptible to the cough, doctors say adults can also carry the disease.

“Adults, particularly smoking adults, could have a cough for a month that may be less realized than if a baby has one,” Policano said. “If they’re around children or their grandchildren, they can pass that along. That’s probably – most likely the source of it.”

Doctors said adults who are frequently around young babies or children should make sure they’re up to date on their vaccines.

The health department said it doesn’t hurt to contact you and your children’s doctors to get an update on your vaccination status.

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