Whooping Cough becoming more noticeable nationwide - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/7/10

Whooping Cough becoming more noticeable nationwide, not just in Lubbock

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By Karin McCay| email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Lubbock Health Department has passed along a couple of different warnings to NewsChannel 11 viewers about Pertussis commonly known as (Whooping Cough) and how quickly fatal it can be to infants.  There has been at least three different instances just from stories that are from around Lubbock. Now, health officials nationwide are taking a hard look at the numbers and why they seem to be doubling in some areas.

Whooping Cough is a bacterial disease that is extremely contagious. It can trigger violent coughing fits and can be fatal for small children. There is no treatment for Pertussis (Whooping Cough), but it is easily prevented with a vaccine. Children that have not received the vaccine and end up contracting Pertussis, they can spread it quickly to babies who are the most vulnerable.

One California couple is telling the story of their 3-week-old son, to bring awareness to how quickly Pertussis changed their life.

"Basically his immune system started failing, his kidney function failed, he started to develop heart failure. In about 36-hours they were doing CPR. We didn't have a lot of choice. It took about two days for that to happen," says Mariah Bianchi. 

"Death isn't just something you read or see about or hear about, it's a case like ours. We had a baby, a healthy baby, there was nothing out of the ordinary, but Pertussis came in and took our son away from us," says David Bianchi.  He adds, "These babies are less than 3-months-old and they are dying, never have a chance unless the people around them protect them."

For older children or adults with Pertussis, symptoms may look like a bad cold or the flu, but with a more forceful cough, runny nose, and low grade fever. Usually it takes about 90-days for the illness to run its course. But for the very young and the very old, Whooping Cough can be fast and fatal.

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