Whooping cough outbreaks has doctors urging people to get vaccine

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Whooping cough outbreaks across the country have health officials here at home urging people to get vaccinated.

Montgomery County Health Department officials have seen a significant drop in whooping cough cases over recent years. Still, they want you to take action.

In 2013, the department saw 187 cases–after a large outbreak that started at Oakwood City Schools. That’s compared to the 52 cases reported last year.

Early symptoms of the virus include sneezing, a low-grade fever and a mild cough–followed by a persistent, severe cough.

Department officals and doctors say the drop in cases comes with more people getting vaccinated for the virus. Late last month, the Northern Kentucky health department reported 31 cases– and expects more.

Many of them involving children under just 10 years old. 2 NEWS Reporter Jordan Bowen spoke with Kettering Medical Center’s Emergency Department Director Nancy Pook. She says the outbreaks are usually spurred by someone who hasn’t been fully vaccinated.

“There’s two issues. One is the vaccinated. They’re going to be at higher risk. Or the partially vaccinated. They very young, young children that might be partially vaccinated they’re going to be at higher risk,” Pook said. “But also even if you are immunized you need to make sure your immunizations are up to date because your immunity goes down and that can very from person to person.”

Pook says whooping cough vaccinations should be good for at least 5 years and sometimes 10. To find out if your up-to-date, Pook says check with your doctor’s office.

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