Health Officials Say Pertussis Vaccine can Benefit You and Those Around You


Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, can be highly contagious. And health officials say getting yourself vaccinated could help not only you, but others around you as well.

Pertussis can be a life threatening illness, especially for infants and young children.

Last week, one confirmed case of the respiratory disease popped up in North Platte -- the first confirmed case in the area for 2014.

The number one sign of the illness is an extreme cough that can last over two weeks, and it is generally accompanied by sniffles and other cold-like symptoms.

Health officials say in adults symptoms can range from slight to extreme. But they say there is usually one telltale sound to indicate pertussis.

"Sometimes people will almost have a whooping sound or will cough around or over themselves. A lot of times they feel like they can't catch their breath," explained RN Marsha Carlson with the Two Rivers Health Department.

Once pertussis is identified doctors will start those infected on an antibiotic regiment, but the cough can linger for months.

Officials recommend getting the Tdap vaccination -- a vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis all in one.

Those around young infants are especially encouraged to get the vaccine because infants under the age of three months aren't able to receive it.

Contact your local healthcare provider for more information on receiving the vaccine.