The Macon County Health Department is confirming a case of whooping cough, or pertussis. Whooping cough can be a serious illness, especially in young, unvaccinated children. Adults and older children with whooping cough may be the source of infection for infants and young children. Whooping cough is caused by bacteria, and is spread when someone who has it coughs or sneezes tiny droplets into the air and another person breathes it in. It can take anywhere 5 to 21 days for symptoms to develop, usually within 7 to 10 days. Symptoms begin with a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, and possibly a low-grade fever. After a week or two a persistent cough develops that may end in a high-pitched whoop and vomiting. The best way to prevent the spread is avoiding daycare, school, work, or any community activities until after completing the five days of antibiotics.

The Macon County Health Department asks that you verify your family’s immunization records to make sure you are up-to-date. If you have any questions, call the Macon County Health Department at 660-395-4711 or contact your medical care provider.