The Reno County Health Department is investigating a possible outbreak of pertussis.
Currently five cases of pertussis have been reported and are still under investigation, and other possible cases are also being investigated at this time.
Pertussis often causes serious problems and can be fatal in infants less than one year of age. Symptoms in adults and older children can be less severe. Symptoms generally appear 4-21 days after exposure to pertussis.
Pertussis usually starts out with cold or flu-like symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing, fever, and cough which last 1-2 weeks. Symptoms worsen over time and the cough generally gets more severe. Coughing spells in the next stages of pertussis can be followed by the “whoop” sound that is made when trying in inhale during or after a severe coughing spell, persons lips may also turn blue or they may vomit after a coughing spell.
Protection against pertussis from the childhood vaccine “DTaP” decreases over time. Older children and adults, including pregnant women, should get a pertussis booster shot called “Tdap” to protect themselves and infants near or around them. If you need the Tdap vaccine, contact your doctor or call the Reno County Health Department at 620-694-2900.