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Cornelius News

Whooping cough cases on the rise

May 15. Mecklenburg County Public Health says there’s an increase in highly contagious whooping cough cases in western North Carolina, including Mecklenburg County.


Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can cause severe coughing fits, especially in infants and young children. While the disease can be serious for anyone, it can be life-threatening for babies too young to be fully vaccinated, immunocompromised individual and pregnant women.

What to do

Residents should contact their health care provider to get vaccinated. The county also provides immunizations for uninsured residents.

By the numbers

Nine confirmed cases and one suspected case of pertussis have been reported to MCPH this year. No hospitalizations or deaths were reported. All cases are under the age of 17, and the majority were not up to date with vaccines, though some were.


“We are seeing isolated cases in Mecklenburg County, and we want our residents to understand that pertussis is here, and we need to be cautious,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg County Public Health director. “The increase in cases is an important reminder that vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent pertussis and reduce the severity of the disease. Unvaccinated people in the community create the opportunity for the disease to spread, even to vaccinated individuals.”


Severe coughing; hard to breathe, eat, or sleep
Whooping sound after a cough
Vomiting after coughing
Runny or stuffy nose
Possible low-grade fever


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