Whooping Cough, also known as Pertussis, continues to grow in numbers. The epidemic is most threatening to babies and young toddlers, who are at risk of dying from the tell-tale cough.
The scariest part of Whooping Cough is that Whooping Cough symptoms aren’t easily identifiable in adults—and during cold and flu season, which is already severe and widespread this year, telling the difference will be even more difficult. Adults may have fever, cough, and other flu like symptoms, but the strong, tell-tale cough followed by a whooping sound or even vomiting is often absent in adults.
Whooping Cough can take more than a week for symptoms to develop, helping it to spread easily. Combined with the easily mistaken symptoms, current recommendations encourage adults to get their pertussis booster (usually the TDaP—it also protects against Tetanus and Diphtheria) to help protect those too young to receive a vaccine.
States that have Whooping Cough are experiencing growing numbers and it is still spreading across the country with new states affected yearly (it started in the Northwest). If you think you might have Whooping Cough symptoms, stay home and take it easy. Even if it’s just a cold or the flu, those both need rest to get over as well!
Are you in an area affected by Whooping Cough? Does it change your winter habits?