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LFCHD urging pertussis vaccinations

Posted: 2:08 PM, Oct 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-22 18:03:08-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The most recent case of confirmed Pertussis, or Whooping Cough if you prefer, came from a familiar location. Dunbar High School has now had two cases of the violent coughing illness since the school year began. That brings the total number of cases in Lexington and Fayette County to eight for the calendar year.

Health Department officials aren’t overly concerned by that number, as it has us on pace to match last year’s total, (10) and come in a little under the 2017 number, (14) but they do urge anyone who has not been protected against Pertussis to get the vaccination immediately.

“If you haven’t had one since you’re 11-years-old, then absolutely talk to your pharmacy, talk you your medical provider and get that booster,” said Kevin Hall of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. The booster is given every 10 years, and is often times combined with vaccines for Diphtheria and Tetanus, (Tdap).

Hall said that anyone who is pregnant, or caring for an infant, could easily transmit the illness if they haven’t been vaccinated, and babies that age are not ready to fight off Pertussis on their own. “All you have to do is watch the videos of these young children who are so weak and fragile, and have this violent cough,” Hall said.

Hall said he’s seen instances of people cracking ribs because the coughing can be so brutal at times. The flu shot will offer you no protection against Whooping Cough, and there is no known season for this illness to reach its peak.

“The Pertussis season is all seasons,” said Hall, “we’re seeing it throughout the year.”

*The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is offering the Pertussis vaccine, by appointment.