Whooping cough hits panhandle

Diagnosed cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, are on the rise in both the state of Nebraska, and in the panhandle. 136 cases have been diagnosed statewide so far this year, with 10 of those in the panhandle. Scotts Bluff County has two confirmed cases so far, with two more who exhibit symptoms in close association with those who have been diagnosed.

Community Health Nurse Paulette Schnell says adults and teens with whooping cough may have milder or atypical symptoms, such as a prolonged cough (rather than coughing spells) or coughing without the whoop. However, Schnell says a persistent cough is often the main symptom either way.

Protection against whooping cough is now available in the Tdap, or Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis vaccine, which is good for 10 years. Schnell says people often neglect or forget to get vaccinated for a variety of reasons.

© 2014 Rural Radio Network. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information