The Sequoyah County has seen an increase of whooping cough cases this year while the state of Oklahoma has seen a decrease in cases according to health officials. Health officials in DuPage County also say there has been increase in whooping cough cases in recent weeks.
Laurence Burnsed, director of communicable diseases for the state health department, said that in 2009 Sequoyah County reported zero cases of whooping cough. This year one case was reported he said. He said there have been 66 cases in Oklahoma in total since Jan.1, 2010. He said, “For the entire 2009 year, there were 117 cases reported… We’re down quite a bit. Oklahoma usually fluctuates from 50 to 120 cases a year.”
Officials are urging caution for those who are going to do out-of-state traveling this holiday season. Whooping cough or pertussis can be spread by being near an infected person as it is airbourne. But close, personal contact is usually required, Burnsed pointed out. He said, “Immunity from a vaccination can decline over time. Adults should contact a physician to find out if they may be in need of a booster.”
The Oklahoma Department of Health’s Web site reports that although anyone can get this disease characterized by coughing so severe that it causes choking spells or vomiting, infants and children are at high risk.