Whooping Cough Alert

by Brittany Harris on July 22, 2010 at 5:37 am

A California epidemic of the Whooping Cough has the Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department preparing for a potential outbreak. An unusual number of central Ohio residents are coming down with the cough, and it has doctors on alert across the state.

Whooping Cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection.

Gloria Kieffer, Director of Nursing for the Zanesville- Muskingum Health Department says preventative measures are the safest assurance against getting sick.

"The biggest thing is to get the immunization, be sure the children are immunized, and parents of little babies and children should have the immunization, grandparents and caregivers of small children," said Kieffer.

Health officials often call it the hundred day cough; it can be treated if caught early.

"There’s an antibiotic treatment for Whooping cough, and if its given early after an exposure it can prevent some of the symptoms, and keep people from spreading it to each other, " said Kieffer.

The Whooping Cough can be fatal for infants if left untreated. The immunization shots are available at all local hospitals. Five infants have died in connection with an outbreak in California.