Preventing Pertussis - WBAY

Preventing Pertussis

Brown County -

A renewed push is underway to make sure people of all ages are vaccinated for pertussis or whooping cough.

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health says the Badger state is the worst in the nation right now, seeing a huge outbreak with 5,668 cases through mid-December.

Last year, there were only about 1,200 cases.

It's the worst this year in the southern part of the state, in Dane, Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties.

In our area, the most cases are in Outagamie, Brown, Winnebago, and Calumet counties. Outagamie County has 386 cases so far in 2012. Brown has seen 123 cases.

Anyone can get whooping cough, but it's the most dangerous for babies.

The outbreak is prompting those who are around children to take precautions and urge for vaccinations.

The sound of child with pertussis coughing it is a sound no parent or childcare provider ever wants to hear, but with Wisconsin leading the nation for whooping cough cases, many daycares are now on alert for it.

"It definitely heightens awareness. The teachers are aware that it's there, and we listen to the kids and if they cough, and if it starts to have that whooping type sound, we're obviously more likely to call the parents and ask them to take the child in and get them checked out," says Julie Frase, Director of Operations at the Cornerstone Center, Encompass Early Education and Care.

Pediatricians, including Prevea Health's Dr. Andrea French, take those kinds of calls from parents more seriously now as the state confirms more cases, especially knowing the danger pertussis poses to babies.

"We are continuing to see a rise of cases. I've even had, within the last year, I've had a couple of under six months in the hospital because of it. It sort of pushes the need for immunizations and the importance of the immunizations," says Dr. French.

Children are vaccinated five times by kindergarten and again around age 12, but doctors and many county health departments recommend anyone around babies be vaccinated.

The Brown County Health Department says the updated vaccine has only been available for adults for about seven years, so many still need it.

"We've really been pushing now that we have that vaccine for the older kids and adults, pushing individuals to get that vaccine," says Judy Friedrichs, Brown County Health Department Director.

Still, as cases increase, childcare providers are as cautious as possible.

"Our teachers are very aware that they are in group care, and we do the best that we can with using bleach and water and sanitizing and disinfecting and keeping the toys children have had in their mouth out of the general population," says Frase.

  • Action 2 NewsMore>>

  • US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

    US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:43:59 GMT
    Senior Obama administration officials say the U.S. military launched a secret mission earlier this summer to rescue a number of Americans held captive by militants in Syria but failed to find them.More >>
    President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them,...More >>
  • US41 Back Open in Kaukauna

    US41 Back Open in Kaukauna

    US 41 traffic is being detoured due to a serious crash in Kaukauna.More >>
    US 41 traffic is being detoured due to a serious crash in Kaukauna.More >>
  • Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

    Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:35:16 GMT
    Militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley and are threatening to kill another hostage in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq.More >>
    The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes Wednesday against the Islamic State extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley and that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria....More >>
Powered by WorldNow

115 S. Jefferson St. Green Bay, WI  54301

Telephone: 920.432.3331
Fax: 920.438.3355

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Green Bay, Inc. A Media General Company.