Local News

KY Whooping Cough Cases On The Rise

State health officials are encouraging Kentuckians, especially older children and teenagers, to get a booster vaccine to prevent pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

State epidemiologist Dr. Kraig Humbaugh says there’s been a spike in whooping cough cases in Kentucky since October, with the highest concentration in Bullitt, Franklin and Hardin Counties.

“Most experts think it is cyclical, and we’re going through a cycle now where we’re seeing more cases than usual. but we’re probably diagnosing it a lot better with improved diagnostic testing,”
Humbaugh said.

Young children are vaccinated for whooping cough, but it’s not unusual for the vaccine to wear off by the age of or so.

Whooping cough is highly contagious and is especially dangerous for young children or people with weakened immune systems.

Local News

Bullitt School Battles Whooping Cough; No Surge In Louisville Cases

The medical director at the Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness says there hasn’t been a dramatic jump in the number of whooping cough cases in Jefferson County this year.

In nearby Bullitt County, officials at Freedom Elementary School are battling the spread of the illness, which has been confirmed in nine students over the past month.

The Louisville health department’s Dr. Matt Zahn says the local incidence has been about average.
“Every year we will have cases of whooping cough, or pertussis here in Louisville. This year, I can’t say we’re having a huge number of cases, but we definitely have cases,” Zahn said.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious illness of the respiratory system. It can be treated with antibiotics.

Zahn says there’s a common whooping cough vaccine for small children, but a booster might be necessary for older children and adults.