Brazoria County is seeing an increase in the number of whooping cough cases in 2018, with 37 reported diagnoses reported through July compared to six the year before.
Of this years cases, 73 percent were for people under 19 years old, said Cathy Sbrusch, Director of Public Health Services with the Brazoria County Health Department.
The cases include some residents in the northern part of the county, Sbrusch said, but she could not cite how many.
Brazoria County posted an advisory on its website about the increase, saying the county is experiencing a higher than normal reports of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, in residents of all ages.
Symptoms of pertussis include coughing fits with a high pitched ‘whoop’ sound, vomiting after coughing, and exhaustion. The illness can last up to two months and can be fatal for infants and young children.
The most alarming thing about pertussis is the illness is almost completely preventable with proper immunization. The Center for Disease Control has these recommendations.
- Pregnant women should receive a Tdap dose during the third trimester of pregnancy
- Babies need DTaP doses at two, four, and six months of age. Another dose should be given between 15 and 18 months.
- Children need another DTaP dose between the ages of four and six.
- Children between seven and 10 years of age need a dose of Tdap if they’ve never been immunized.
- Children between the ages of 11 and 12 should have a Tdap dose.
- Adults need one dose of Tdap if they did not receive a dose during adolescence.
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