Local News

Dec 18, 2013 4:38 PM by Sara Donchey

Infant Dies, Health Dept. Concerned About Rise in Whooping Cough Cases

CORPUS CHRISTI - An infant undergoing treatment for Whooping Cough, otherwise known as Pertussis, has died, according to the City-County Health Department.

This morning, local health authorities held a last-minute press conference today to express their concerns about emerging cases.

Annette Rodriguez of the City County Health Department insisted that more could be done to present of the spread of the disease.

"We need to do better," Rodriguez said. "I don't want to see anybody in the situation where you have to be in a hospital during the Christmas holidays with a sick child that has Pertussis."

There have been 16 recorded cases of Whooping Cough in Nueces County this year. That's three more recorded cases than last year.

And the problem is far reaching.

Dr. Jaime Fergie works as a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

"I would say, nationally, this is one of the worst years we have seen with the most reported cases," Fergie said.

Doctors say the solution is vaccination - and not just for children, either.

Health workers insist that it's critical for both pregnant women in their third trimester and anyone who comes in contact with small children should be vaccinated themselves.

"Get your vaccine, protect this infant, at least until they're of age to protect themselves," Rodriguez said.

The Health Department is urging families not to put off getting vaccinated simply because of the busy holiday season.

"People are hustling and bustling around, getting excited, buying gifts...but you have to remember there are people in the hospital with children that are in critical condition, and in my mind, these children should not be there."

The health department offers pertussis vaccines for $60. There's also a program for the uninsured to recieve vaccines for as little as $10.

City-County Health Department - http://www.cctexas.com/government/health-district/health-services/immunizations/index

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