Cold-like symptoms that could be something worse

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Some scattered cases of flu are being reported in Kentuckiana, but it's another extremely contagious illness that's causing concern for area pediatricians and parents.

The warning in this week's check of 'what's going around' is from Norton Community Medical Associates in Clarksville.  Dr. Jill Howell-Berg, a pediatrician, says some of the most severe coughs and upper respiratory illnesses right now are testing positive for Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough.

Dr. Berg says Pertussis initially presents as cold-like symptoms for the first 10 days, then progresses into a severe cough that can be accompanied by vomiting and a whoop sound.

The sound of the cough can sometimes be confused with croup.

Dr. Berg says Pertussis is most severe in infants under the age of 6 months and can last up to 6 weeks, even after treatment with antibiotics.

Keep in mind, this one is transmitted by respiratory particles, so it spreads easy.

Vaccines for Pertussis are given at 2, 4, and 6 months with a booster at 15 to 18 months, 5 years and 10 to 11 years.

Family members and caregivers of young infants should get a booster as well. If a child is diagnosed with Pertussis, the entire family is typically treated for the illness to help prevent spread in the community.

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