CELINA (2-21-20) – Mercer County Health District is reporting one confirmed case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, in the county. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Symptoms of pertussis usually develop within 5 to 10 days after exposure. Sometimes pertussis symptoms do not develop for as long as three weeks.

The disease usually starts with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough or fever. Early symptoms can last for 1 to 2 weeks and typically include runny nose, low-grade fever, occasional mild cough, and a pause in breathing (in babies). After 1 to 2 weeks, the traditional symptoms occur and include rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop” sound, vomiting during or after coughing fits, and exhaustion after coughing fits.

Pertussis spreads by coughing and sneezing while in contact with others. You can prevent pertussis and other respiratory illnesses from spreading by:

· Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
· Putting your used tissue in the wastebasket.
· Coughing or sneezing into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you don’t have a tissue.
· Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Using an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.

The best way to prevent pertussis is by getting the pertussis vaccination. All persons need to be up-to-date with Dtap from ages six weeks to six years old and Tdap for seven years and older. The Mercer County Health District offers these vaccinations, and you may call to schedule an appointment at 419-586-3251 extension 1270.
For further information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis.