Seven confirmed cases of whooping cough in Cache Valley
As of Wednesday, there are 7 confirmed cases of whooping cough in the south end of Cache Valley, according to the Bear River Health Department.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness that may leave a person with a severe cough that can persist for weeks or months.
It can be especially dangerous to infants who have not received the full vaccine series and to people with certain pre-existing health conditions. Estee Hunt, Bear River Health Department public information officer, said "the vaccine wanes over time and that’s why it's important for people to get the booster." She added the vaccine also most often lessens the severity of whooping cough.
Early symptoms are similar to the common cold and later symptoms include rapid, violent and uncontrolled coughing fits that can cause vomiting and extreme fatigue.
According to the health department, early detection and treatment can significantly reduce the severity and duration of illness and prevent further transmission. The department urges residents to contact their healthcare providers if they or their children exhibit symptoms of whooping cough. In addition, anyone in close contact with an infected individual is advised to seek medical advice.
The department also strongly recommends that individuals who have not received a whooping cough vaccination or are due for a booster to contact their healthcare provider or visit the Bear River Health Department to get vaccinated.
Hunt said it only takes two confirmed cases of whooping cough to determine it is an outbreak. The Bear River Health Department has implemented several measures to control the outbreak including enhanced surveillance, contact tracing, and increased vaccine availability.
For additional information, visit the Bear River Health Department’s website at brhd.org or call 435-792-6500.