LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)–Pertussis has become a prominent topic for parents of children in Lexington.
The disease, more commonly known as Whooping Cough, is known for its aggressive cough. It is highly contagious and if not treated properly could last more than three months.
“Pertussis, or whooping cough, also goes by the name the ‘100-day cough’ so when you think of it in that term, it’s absolutely something that doesn’t go away quickly,” said Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
So far in 2019, five cases have been confirmed in Fayette County Schools. Hall with the health department stresses it is not because the schools are doing something wrong.
“It’s actually the opposite. They are working closely with health officials, they are making sure parents are informed, they are checking vaccination rates,” said Hall.
The vaccine is required for students enrolled in Fayette County, and Hall said that the district’s vaccination rate is very high, the issue is that the vaccination does not protect for a lifetime.
“That’s one reason you see this in high school ages kids, college kids, young adults because they’re getting it when they’re 11/12 years old and it weakens over time,” he said.
That is why Hall says adults and pregnant women should get the T-Dap booster. It is safe for them to do so in their third trimester. He also urges parents to keep their sick kids at home to minimize the chance of exposure.
“If they’re showing the fever, if they have that cough, keep them home until they’re better,” he said.
Click here for more information about Fayette County’s immunization requirements.