According to the Centers for Disease Control, pertussis, or "whooping cough" is on the rise in the U.S., and we are to expecting to see some of the worst cases in over 50 years.
In the video interview above, Dr. Eric Wilke from the Brazos County Health Department explains what signs to look for in your family, along with the expected impact from the disease. Watch the video for more information or continue reading.
Dr. Wilke explains the signs to look for:
Pertussis starts as the common cold which includes a runny nose and mild cough. This typically lasts for about a week.
The second phase includes strong coughing "fits". Some of these fits can be strong enough to crack a rib.
Babies and the elderly are the most at-risk; however, at the moment adults appear to be the group that are contracting "whooping cough" more frequently. Dr. Wilke believes this is related to adults not keeping vaccinations up-to-date.
According to the CDC, for adults the recommended vaccine is called "Tdap". Babies and small children receive the vaccine "DTaP" which is a part of their regularly schedule vaccines administered by their pediatrician.
Treatment for "Whooping Cough" consists of receiving antibiotics. The illness can last up to six weeks and if untreated can result in death.
Links to more information about Pertusis, or "Whooping Cough" can be found at the CDC website below.