More cases of Whooping cough confirmed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More cases of Whooping cough confirmed

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) –If you have a lingering cough, it could be more than just a cold or allergies. There are several cases of whooping cough in Georgia now. So far this year, 46 cases have been confirmed in Georgia and it's contagious.

Flu Season has come and gone, but this waiting room in Tifton is still flooded with patients, "They say they have either been around someone with a horrible cough, they aren't sure, or they are coming in as a precautionary so they wont get it," said Traci Mullis, Tift Co. Nurse Manager.

Many of those patients are concerned about "Whooping Cough" especially since there have been multiple cases in the southwest Georgia area. "Especially this morning we have received calls from a lot of people coming in wanting to get the vaccine," said Mullis.

What normally starts off feeling like a cold, eventually turns into a persistent cough "The cough becomes persistent overtime it becomes what we call paroxysmal and it is just coughing fits," said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, Southwest Public Heath District.

"It can cause Pneumonia, brain swelling and very you children can die," said Grant.

Health officials confirmed two cases of Pertussis or "whooping cough" in Tift County, one case in Turner County and health officials are investigating an outbreak in Grady County.

"We've had an isolated case here and there, but we've never had a situation like what we are dealing with right now," said Dr. Grant.

"This is something new. I've been here for 22 years and I don't remember seeing pertussis," said Mullis.

If you've had a cough or think you have been around someone who has health officials say its better to be safe than sorry.

The vaccine is offered free of charge at every health department in Georgia even if you don't have insurance.

The most at risk population include babies younger than two months old, young children who have not had their five doses of the vaccine before age six, and any adult, child or teen who has not gotten a T-DAP booster.

You can also protect yourselves by washing your hands frequently, cover your mouth with tissue when you sneeze or cough and avoid contact with high risk populations if symptoms occur.

For more information on whooping cough click here

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