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Whooping cough on the rise in Southern Nevada

Reported by: Denise Rosch
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Updated: 9/24/2013 4:46 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A highly contagious childhood disease is making a comeback in Southern Nevada. Reported cases of Pertussis — also known as whooping cough — are up in the area.

In Clark County, 103 cases have been reported so far this year twenty more than were reported in all of 2012.

Experts say the most important way to prevent whooping cough is to vaccinate -- something you can do at your pediatrician’s office or right at the Southern Nevada Health District. Unfortunately even vaccination is not a 100 percent guarantee against whooping cough. Some kids who have all their immunizations will still contract the disease.

The bacterial disease is spread through respiratory droplets when someone sneezes or coughs. It is suggested that those with an infected child, keep them isolated from others.

The cough produces a distinct whooping sound as the children suffering from the disease are unable to catch their breath. Children might also vomit after a coughing spree.

Linda Verchick with the health district said parents of newborns might want to consider a shot for themselves.

“If you're having a new baby, there's a program called ‘cocooning’ where parents and caretakers of infants are being immunized before the infant is born so they won't bring the illness into the home,” said Verchick. “A lot of times, adults don't know they have pertussis. They might not have the classic symptoms of pertussis.”

Anyone of any age can get whooping cough, but it is potentially fatal in infants. However, there have been no deaths from whooping cough in Clark County so far this year.

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