Whooping cough warning - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Whooping cough warning

Dr. Rex Fletcher Dr. Rex Fletcher

Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - There are worries about whooping cough, as the disease reaches epidemic levels, and it's prompting local doctors to warn parents. 

Many think whooping cough is an old-fashioned disease, and one that went out with the horse and buggy... But now, it's making a major comeback.

In 2009, 3,358 Texans had whooping cough... Three of them died. That's the worst it's been in the state in more than 50 years. 

Dr. Rex Fletcher says, "A typical child when they have pertussis will have coughing spells where they can't stop coughing, to the point of choking. Gagging, throwing up and with the little ones turning blue. Once you get past those two weeks and enter the cough spasm stage, it's not treatable."

Whooping cough starts out like a regular cold... But if it goes on for more than a week, with the coughing getting progressively worse, that may be a sign of whooping cough.

There is a vaccine, but the shot you get as a kid wears off by the time you're about 12. It's recommended that adults and children get booster shots every ten years to be fully protected.

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