Metro Health Officials Urge Pertussis Immunization

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Metro Health Officials Urge Pertussis Immunization

A Pertussis outbreak in Bell County has prompted Bexar County Metro Health to advise the community to immunize against the disease commonly referred to as “whooping cough.”

Since January, the Bell County Public Health District has reported 102 confirmed cases of Pertussis. Although Bexar County did not experience an increase in cases this year, officials remind residents about the importance of vaccination to prevent the spread of this disease. Fifteen cases were confirmed in Bexar County this year. Last year at this time, Metro Health reported 12 confirmed cases.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory infection that may be mild in older children and adults, but the infection can cause serious problems, even death, in infants.

In the beginning stages Pertussis may appear to be nothing more than the common cold, and often is not suspected or diagnosed until more severe symptoms surface. Infected individuals are most contagious during this time, up to two weeks after coughing begins.

Early symptoms can include runny nose, low-grade fever that is generally minimal throughout the course of the disease, mild occasional cough, apnea or a pause in breathing in infants. As the disease progresses, the traditional symptoms appear and may include paroxysms or bouts of many rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop” vomiting, exhaustion after coughing fits.

Call 210-207-8894 for more information.

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