There has been a recent Health advisory released by Tarrant County Public Health regarding Pertussis in the area. Please see link below for full
Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis.
Pertussis is a very contagious disease only found in humans. It is spread from person to person. People with pertussis usually spread the disease to another person by coughing or sneezing or when spending a lot of time near one another where you share breathing space. Many babies who get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers who might not even know they have the disease.
Infected people are most contagious up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Antibiotics shorten the amount of time someone is contagious.
While pertussis vaccines are the most effective tool we have to prevent this disease, no vaccine is 100% effective. If pertussis is circulating in the community, there is a chance that a fully vaccinated person, of any age, can catch this very contagious disease. If you have been vaccinated but still get sick, the infection is usually not as bad.
The disease usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. In babies, the cough can be minimal or not even there. Babies may have a symptom known as “apnea.” Apnea is a pause in the child’s breathing pattern. Pertussis is most dangerous for babies. About half of babies younger than 1year who get the disease need care in the hospital.
Early symptoms can last for 1to 2 weeks and usually include:
- Runny nose
- Low-grade fever (generally minimal throughout the course of the disease)
- Mild, occasional cough
- Apnea- a pause in breathing (in babies)
Because pertussis in its early stages appears to be nothing more than the common cold, it is often not suspected or diagnosed until the more severe symptoms appear.
After 1to 2 weeks and as the disease progresses, the traditional symptoms of pertussis may appear and include:
- Paroxysms (fits) of many, rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop”
- Vomiting (throwing up) during or after coughing fits
- Exhaustion (very tired) after coughing fits
If you feel your child has the symptoms above, please be seen and we can evaluate and test for Pertussis if we feel it is warranted.