Pertussis outbreak spreading in Weber County

Pertussis outbreak spreading in Weber County

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Weber County is dealing with a major Whooping Cough outbreak. So far the highly contagious disease is affecting at least three schools and nearly three dozen people.
OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Weber County is dealing with a major Whooping Cough outbreak. So far the highly contagious disease is affecting at least three schools and nearly three dozen people.

"We did have one 4 month old child who was hospitalized for a few days with some difficulty breathing," said Amy Carter, Communicable Disease Nurse, Weber-Morgan Health Dept.

Pertussis or Whooping Cough is spreading through several schools in Weber County. The Weber-Morgan Health Department said more than 30 people are showing symptoms, that includes family members and students from Evergreen Montessori Academy in Ogden, Plain City Elementary, and Wahlquist Jr. High in Farr West, that's where health officials believe the outbreak started.

"We got a letter in the mail talking about the outbreak and they were taking precautions," said Camille Smith, parent of student at Wahlquist Jr. High.

"I don't know much about it other than they're making sure everyone is washing their hands," said Kregg Thomassen, parent of student at Wahlquist Jr. High.

"It hasn't really made me nervous, but it's made me aware," said Brandon Taylor, parent of student at Wahlquist Jr. High.

Weber-Morgan Communicable Disease Nurse Amy Carter said there's good reason to take caution.

"If you don't get antibiotics in the first few weeks of getting sick, most people will cough for about three months," said Carter.

She said the symptoms begin like a common cold.

"But instead those symptoms will worsen into a bad cough, a lot of time the cough will start coughing fits, and especially at night. We may have a hard time breathing during coughing or we may cough to the point where we throw up," said Carter.

"If you or your child are having symptoms of Pertussis or any concerning symptoms please call your provider," she said.

In addition to seeing your doctor, if you have Whooping Cough symptoms health experts recommend you get vaccinated, wash your hands and cover your mouth when you’re coughing, so you don't spread it to others, and if possible stay home.

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