Local News

Wake County Takes Steps To Prevent Outbreak Of Whooping Cough

Posted July 12, 2004

— A baby born at WakeMed diagnosed with whooping cough has left many parents worried.

The Wake County Health Department is being extra cautious since the baby born last month contracted the disease

pertussis

, better known as whooping cough.

"The child who is actually infected with whooping cough and hospitalized is quite ill," said Dr. Peter Morris, of Wake County Human Services, "although we do have hopes with the intensive care he will recover from the infection."

The health department gave free antibiotics this weekend to babies born around the same time as the sick baby. It wants to make sure the highly-contagious disease did not spread.

Amy Callahan said 3-week-old Marley, one of the babies to receive an antibiotic, is doing just fine.

"I'm glad to know they're doing what they can to prevent her from getting whooping cough," Callahan said, "and I'm glad that we know the symptoms to look for before they set in."

The children who could have potentially been affected and needed to come to WakeMed to be treated received a letter.

It is not clear yet where the sick baby contracted whooping cough. The infant had left the hospital and was re-admitted after getting sick.

Doctors said it is easy to tell when a child is sick.

"It's really a lot of mucus and a cough that starts out irritating and becomes more and more persistent and more and more insistent to the point of coughing until you turn blue in the face," Dr. Morris said. "In fact, the whoop occurs when you cough, cough, down until the end and whoop the air back into your lungs."

Health officials feel certain the parents will not have to worry about that, however, since their newborns received treatment.

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