Nick McWilliams reporting – A reported increase of pertussis, better known as Whooping Cough, has gained the attention of the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

From the start of February to April 12th, the health department has confirmed six cases of the highly contagious disease, and identified two probable cases.

In all of 2022, only four cases were diagnosed.

The disease can be contracted by all ages, and can lead to serious complications like apnea, pneumonia, convulsions, encephalopathy or disease of the brain, or even death.

The bacteria is spread through the air from person to person, most commonly by coughing or sneezing. It can be spread for up to three weeks from the first symptoms. Antibiotics have proven effective in treating the disease and are most effective when started early on.

At-risk individuals are advised to receive a Tdap vaccine to help prevent Whooping Cough and other potentially dangerous ailments.

For more information, dial (330) 343-5555, ext. 1800, and to schedule an appointment, use extension 1810 or 1740.

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