Whooping Cough Making Its Way Into the Basin

Whooping Cough Making Its Way Into the Basin

By Alexa Williams

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND-  Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, has broken out in Texas and has even made its way into the Permian Basin. Almost 2,000 cases in the state and 11 confirmed in Midland. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, at this rate, we could reach the highest numbers in over 50 years.

"It spreads just about like flu. We know how rapidly flu spreads during the flu season and how it can go through a whole family and Pertussis is the same way," Rebecca Johnson, Infection Prevention Coordinator at Medical Center Hospital, said.

It's important to remember that whooping cough doesn't just affect children, you can get it as an adult too, and there are there are a few things you should be looking out for.

"It's usually the onset of a cold or respiratory infection which rapidly progresses to a violent cough," Johnson said.

If you have any symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately or it could become fatal.

"This year alone, two deaths of infants in the State of Texas," Johnson said.

However, this highly contagious illness can all be avoided with just a few shots.

"Immunization is extremely important. It is the only way to prevent pertussis if you are exposed closely or fully," Johnson said.