For Immediate Release:

Our agency has received notification of a possible whooping cough (pertussis) case in Laclede County. While no other cases have been reported and/or laboratory confirmed at this time, we have been advised that cases are increasing in several counties throughout the state. Our staff are working with local healthcare providers and school personnel regarding this situation. Local schools possibly involved will be sending letters home with students, or will be providing information through electronic notification, so please watch for that information.

Whooping cough is an infection that affects the airways, and can cause a severe cough that lasts for weeks or months. This illness can be spread easily from person to person by coughing and/or sneezing. Anyone can get whooping cough, but it can be very dangerous for babies and people with certain health conditions.

If you believe you or a family member have been exposed to whooping cough, the following is recommended:

* If a cough is present, do not attend work, school, or other activities.
* Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible for needed testing and/or treatment.
* Ensure your family is up-to-date on their vaccinations. Younger children should be protected by a DTaP vaccine, and older children/adults can be protected by a Tdap vaccine.

If you need these vaccinations, please contact your healthcare provider or the Laclede County Health Department (clients must meet eligible guidelines for the Vaccines For Children or 317 Vaccine Programs). Please call our office at 417-532-2134 for guideline information.

For additional information on whooping cough (pertussis) visit https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html