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Health officials warn of an increase in whooping cough cases in Augusta County



STAUNTON, VA. (WHSV) – The Virginia Department of Health warned of a recent increase in cases of whooping cough in the Shenandoah Valley.

Whooping Cough Photo: Graphic by Pixabay and MGN. [19659004] The Cases Reported

Earlier this week, parents and staff at Hugh K. Cassell Elementary School in Augusta County received letters from the Central Shenandoah Health District about a confirmed case of pertussis (the scientific name for whooping cough) at their school.

That was not the only thing. According to combined data from the Waynesboro-Augusta Health Department and the Staunton-Augusta Health Department, there have been 23 reports of pertussis since 25 October.

Cases reported in children, adolescents and adults.

This is a massive increase from the norm, which averaged 3 cases a year from August 201

6 to 2018 in Augusta County, Waynesboro and Staunton.

Response

The Virginia Department of Health Reports This Your staff is working with health care providers in the Shenandoah Valley and working with the school faculty to identify, treat, and facilitate group activities in school, To exclude occupation or sport.

The separation of patients with the disease from others is essential to prevent its spread, considering how contagious it is. Everyone affected should stay at home until treatment is complete.

In response, health departments sent letters to parents, faculty and staff of all schools concerned.

Same as Vaccination in [19659006abläuft] According to the health department, the majority of the 23 patients with confirmed pertussis cases had previously been vaccinated against pertussis. They therefore emphasize the awareness that you can get the disease even if you have been vaccinated in the past – that's because the pertussis vaccine has historically had a different efficacy and decreased outcomes over time. However, this does not mean that you should not receive the vaccine – the latest version prevents disease for the vast majority of those who receive it, and also helps prevent this from other serious respiratory illnesses in infants, immunocompromised and elderly patients.

The health authorities also recommend receiving a booster pertussis vaccine about every 10 years to help protect your immune system in the best shape it can have against the disease.

The symptoms of pertussis

Pertussis or whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by bacteria that spread in the air droplets due to sneezing or coughing.

The disease typically begins with "cold symptoms" such as runny nose, sneezing, mild fever, and coughing. Newly infected persons are the most infectious in the first week of illness when cold symptoms are present. Untreated, infected individuals may develop a more severe respiratory disease that includes coughing fits, difficulty breathing, choking or vomiting, or a coughing followed by a high "wheeze" as the person tries to hold their breath.

If you or your child has developed these symptoms, seek the help of a physician and avoid any public or group exposure.

Prevention and Treatment

Anyone who has been diagnosed with pertussis should ingest all prescribed medication (usually a five-day antibiotic) and stay at home to avoid group activity to prevent the spread of the disease To avoid illness.

The Department of Health also recommends keeping away all infants and other high-risk individuals from those with whom the disease is exposed to respiratory diseases, including those with confirmed and suspected pertussis cases.

The best form of pertussis prevention is for all babies, children, adolescents, and adults who can be vaccinated against it, provided that professionals talk about herd immunity.

Talk to your doctor to find out if you or your child may need another dose of the vaccine to protect against whooping cough.

Like many other respiratory illnesses such as flu, whooping cough are transmitted through coughing and sneezing in close contact with others who then inhale bacteria.

Good hygiene also prevents it from spreading. Doctors recommend the following:

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, you may cough or sneeze into your upper arm or elbow, not into your hands.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have access to a sink with soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used.
• Do not divide food, beverages, vaporous products, or objects that have come into contact with another person's saliva.
• If you are sick, stay home.

Further information

If you have questions about the increase in pertussis cases, you can contact your local health department:

• Staunton-Augusta Health Authority, 540-332-7830; and
• Waynesboro-Augusta Health Department, 540-949-0137.

For more information about pertussis, visit the Ministry of Health website.


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