Whooping Cough Quickly Spreads Through N. Idaho - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whooping Cough Quickly Spreads Through N. Idaho

HAYDEN, Idaho - The number of confirmed cases of whooping cough in North Idaho has reached an extremely high level this year.
 
Since January, 44 people in the Panhandle health district have been diagnosed with the disease known as Pertussis.
 
"This does seem like a cyclical year for pertussis," said Randi Lustig, Program manager of epidemiology at Panhandle Health District. "We've had five times as many cases this year as we have had over the last three, four, maybe five years."
 
People suffering from the disease experience continously violent coughing clusters. Many times people have a hard time catching their breath after suffering from a coughing episode. The disease can also be deadly to infants.
 
"It's a miserable disease to have because another name for it is the 100-day cough. It lasts a long time," said Lustig.
 
The disease is spread through saliva, and can easily be passed by someone coughing or sneezing nearby that has a form of the disease. The health district says the number confirmed cases covers a wide-range of age groups. No one has died from the disease so far this year.
 
Since the disease can potentially be deadly to babies, the Panhandle Health District is recommending anyone that is in contact with an infant to be immunized with a booster shot called T-dap.
 
"We don't want people in the community that either have a mild or classic form of pertussis to be able to pass it to a baby. That's very dangerous," said Lustig.
 
Anyone one wishing to receive an immunization shot should contact the Panhandle Health District.
 
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