Jefferson County sees rise in whooping cough cases

wwny Jefferson County sees rise in whooping cough cases

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The number of whooping cough cases in Jefferson County continues to climb.

Add 10 new confirmed cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, in Jefferson County this month, bringing the total this season to 33.

“It’s always concerning of course in any outbreak situation. We want people to be aware of pertussis and to get vaccinated against pertussis,” said Faith Lustik, health planner, Jefferson County Public Health.

Symptoms of whooping cough start off similar to a cold but last much longer and can turn into a cough that makes a whooping noise. The vast majority of people who have contracted the disease are between the ages of 2 months and 19 years old. Although, one adult has come down with the illness.

"The biggest concern for whooping cough is amongst children that are under 12 months of age because they haven't received a vaccine against it and it is very a newborn child to get pertussis," said Lustik.

“It’s spread by respiratory droplets, sneezing, coughing, and being confined spaces with someone who is infected,” said Jon Jerome, physician assistant, Watertown Urgent Care.

We reached out to local daycare workers in the area who say they haven't been affected by the outbreak but some of them have sent flyers home warning parents about whooping cough.

Health officials say even if you've gotten all your vaccines for the disease, you can still get sick.

"Most older kids and adults would have much milder symptoms but that's the issue, they can transfer it to the more higher risk population," said Jerome.

Lewis and St. Lawrence counties have no confirmed cases of whooping cough, but health officials say if people are not up to date on their vaccinations, they should call their primary care doctors or public health.

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