‘Very contagious;’ Whooping cough cases confirmed in Kettering schools as cases increase in Ohio

KETTERING — Whooping cough is making its way into the Miami Valley as Kettering Schools confirmed that they have two cases.

>>RELATED: Case of whooping cough detected at Kettering school

A letter was sent to parents with kids at Kettering City Schools on Monday, warning them that the whooping cough has been detected.

“This time of year, there’s always an uptick in all of the respiratory viruses. We’ll see that throughout the next three months, certainly, whooping cough is not immune to that as well,” Premier Health Region Medical Director Joseph Allen said.

The cough is typically found in infants, but Allen said more teens and adults have been seen with the infection.

This whooping cough is highly contagious and is marked by a severe ‘hacking’ cough followed by a high-pitched breath in, which sounds like “whoop,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a very contagious respiratory illness caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. The disease is only found in humans, according to the CDC.

Allen said the cough typically lasts around 12 weeks.

When infected, it takes seven to 10 days for symptoms to appear, according to the clinic. Those include:

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Fever
  • Cough

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After a week or two, symptoms can worsen as thick mucus lines the airways and causes uncontrollable coughing, the Mayo Clinic said. Prolonged coughing attacks may:

  • Provoke nausea or vomiting
  • Result in a red or blue face
  • Cause extreme fatigue
  • High-pitched “whoop” sound during the next breath of air after the cough

The Clark County Health Commission said knowing the symptoms and getting diagnosed early is important because people need to quarantine and take antibiotics.

“If someone is treated with an antibiotic they need to be out of school or work for 5 days to give the antibiotic time to kick in before they go back and potentially spread it,” Clark County Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said.

There is a vaccine for whooping cough and Patterson said the infection can be cured if people stay on top of it.

“We should be able to eliminate it in the United States if people follow the vaccination schedule. This is something we should not be having to deal with in 2023,” Patterson said.

In Ohio, eight people have tested positive for the infection, according to the CDC.

In the United States, there are only 40 cases, meaning 20% are in Ohio.

The CDC reports there have been over 3,000 cases this year.

This isn’t the first time News Center 7 reported on the infection.

>>RELATED: Whooping cough detected at area elementary school; What you need to know

Back in March, a student at John F. Kennedy Elementary tested positive for the illness.

The school asked parents to make sure their children didn’t share drinks and utensils when they were with others.

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