Sullivan County officials issue health alert for whooping cough – NBC New York

A rise in cases of whooping cough, particularly in children, has prompted a county health alert in New York.

Cases of pertussis, better known as whooping cough, have climbed in Sullivan County. The health department there said five additional cases verified “just this week.” The cases of concern have been found in kids.

“This is an important advisory, and comes during National Immunization Awareness Month,” said Director of Public Health Karen Holden. “This month reinforces why vaccines are important for people of all ages and how they can help prevent serious, sometimes deadly, diseases and illnesses.”

The Sullivan County Department of Public Health issued an advisory on Thursday over the increase of pertussis, which is considered highly contagious. According to the health officials, the coughing brought on by pertussis can last up to 10 weeks, and in some cases longer.

Whooping cough has the potential to cause serious illness to people of all ages, but babies especially. Half of babies under 1 typically needed to be hospitalized if they catch it, the department said.

Cases of whooping cough have reportedly been on the rise for years. New York recorded nearly double the number of cases in 2022 from the previous year. The county alert says 2023 is on track to repeat the trend.

Anyone who believes they have contracted pertussis should get in touch with their doctor. The county also has a 24/7 public health line: 845-292-5910.

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