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State seeing uptick in cases of ‘whooping cough,’ a highly contagious respiratory illness

By Sarah Ladd
Kentucky Lantern

Kentucky is seeing an uptick in cases of pertussis, more commonly called whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory illness.

File photo

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services said in a newsletter: “Recent cases have occurred primarily in central Kentucky but cases are being seen throughout the Commonwealth.”

Whooping cough can be a life threatening illness and is most dangerous for babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can, however, affect people of any age.

Whooping cough is highly contagious, according to the CDC. Vaccines are available to children as young as 2 months old and can help prevent it.

Early symptom onset to recovery can take around 12 weeks, according to the Kentucky Department of Public Health.

Symptoms of whooping cough include, according to the Kentucky Department of Public Health: 

• Runny or stuffy nose
• Uncontrollable coughing
• Vomiting from coughing 
• Fever below 100.4 Fahrenheit 
• Apnea (life-threatening pauses in breathing) and cyanosis (turning blue or purple) in infants and young children

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