LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A case of whooping cough (pertussis) was reported among students at Ballard High School on Tuesday.
Whooping cough is a respiratory infection that is easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing.
The disease begins similar to a common cold, with sneezing, runny nose, low fever, and a mild cough. After about 10 days, a severe cough develops that often occurs in outbursts that end with a high sounding “whoop”-like noise. The severe cough can last for weeks or months, sometimes leading to coughing fits and/or vomiting.
Infants often do not have a typical whoop, and may simply seem sick or stop breathing. Symptoms can occur five to 21 days after exposure to a person with the infection.
If you or your child has the symptoms mentioned above, call your medical provider for an appointment. Those who are coughing should not return to school until they have been cleared by their health care provider or taken the appropriate antibiotics for the directed amount of time.
Anyone is at risk to get whooping cough, but it can be particularly dangerous for newborns, and infants less than 12-months-old, children who are not immunized or are behind on their shots, pregnant women, or anyone with pre-existing health conditions that could be aggravated or made worse if the develop whooping cough and have a severe cough (possibly someone with cystic fibrosis, asthma, heart or lung disease, or a weakened immune system).
Anyone with additional questions should call the Department of Public Health and Wellness at 574-6675.