Macon Health Dept. confirms local case of whooping cough


Macon, MO -- The Macon County Health Department confirmed on Tuesday, December 3rd, a local case of whooping cough. The department issued a formal statement which was sent to the paper via email. In short, the health department encourages citizens to confirm your vaccination record to make sure it is up to date; you can do this by visiting the local health department.

The statement is as follows: "The Macon County Health Department confirms a case of whooping cough (pertussis) in the community. 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. This is a concern because in recent years more adults, adolescents, and school-aged children have been contracting this disease.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a bacteria that is spread when someone who has it coughs or sneezes tiny droplets into the air and another person breathes it in. It can take 5-21 days, but usually 7-10 days, from the time a person is exposed until symptoms start.

Symptoms of pertussis 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. Coughing attacks may happen more frequently at night. Coughing attacks usually increase during the first two weeks of illness and then remain the same for an additional two to three weeks before gradually decreasing. However, the cough can last up to 100 days or longer. Pertussis normally occurs in those who have not been vaccinated but can occur in those whom have been vaccinated, where the illness is usually milder.

Someone with pertussis is contagious at the time they experience cold-like symptoms, before the persistent cough begins. They remain contagious until three weeks after the bursts of coughing start, or, after five days of antibiotic treatment is completed.

Social distancing is a method to help prevent the spread of pertussis. Someone with pertussis should not attend daycare, school, work, or any community activities until after completing the five days of antibiotic treatment or if they choose to not take treatment, then social distancing should occur for 21 days. If you highly suspect someone has pertussis, seek medical care immediately or contact the Macon County Health Department for testing or further recommendations.

If there is a positive case of pertussis in a daycare, school or workplace, and there are unvaccinated people who do not wish to become vaccinated, they should excuse themselves from social activities for 21 days.

Macon County Health Department asks that you verify your family’s immunization records to make sure you are up to date on Dtap/Tdap vaccine. Pertussis is a vaccine preventable disease and staying current on all vaccines is the best way to avoid contracting or spreading disease. If you have any questions please speak to one of the nurses at the Macon County Health Department at 660-395-4711 or contact your medical care provider."