Local/Regional News
11:49 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Kentucky Not Immune To Whooping Cough Outbreak

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky is among the states contributing to a nationwide rise in the cases of whooping cough. Health officials are urging parents not to put off vaccinating their children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, number over 180-thousand nationally so far in 2012. That’s double the number of annual cases since last July. And Kentucky isn’t immune – 171 cases have been reported since January. Fayette County Health Department spokesperson Kevin Hall says Lexington is also seeing an increase.

"This year we've had 15 confirmed cases of pertussis, which is really unusual. Normally it's really rare in Lexington. Between 2005 and 2011 there were only 25 cases total," he says.

Whooping cough is a contagious respiratory disease that begins with cold-like symptoms and develops into violent coughing spells. Hall says the health department is not offering the vaccine, so citizens should consult their family physicians.