Small outbreak of Pertussis in the U.P. has public health officials watching carefully

MARQUETTE COUNTY — Public health officials have seen cases of whooping cough in the U.P. and are watching those cases closely.

There have been reported cases at the Marquette County Health Department as well as the Dickinson–Iron and Delta–Menominee Health Department districts. Whooping cough can be very serious especially for younger individuals.

Health officials say the sickness usually begins with mild upper respiratory symptoms, such as runny nose and a mild cough.

“The symptoms start pretty mild, which can start with a runny nose mild cough and progress to what is called the 100 day cough,” explained Tina Bambach, Nurse Practitioner at the Hematite Health Clinic. “The cough can last up to 100 days. It starts out as a mild cough and develops into a whooping sound kind of cough.”

The progresses of the disease can also lead to a more severe cough, with spasms of coughing which may cause vomiting. Infants are most at risk for this disease and the disease can be fatal. The disease is also easily spread through coughing or sneezing, which is why health officials say the best defense against whooping cough is vaccination. Now vaccines have been made to help prevent this disease and it has made large improvements decreasing the amount of individuals that are affected by it every year.

Before the vaccine was recommended for all infants there were about 8,000 people in the U.S. that died each year from whooping cough. That number now is fewer than 20 individuals per year.

For more information about whooping cough you can click here.

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