Public health officials in Nebraska are on a new alert for an old disease which many people mistakenly thought was already eradicated. Deb Scholten heads the Northeast Nebraska Department of Public Health in Wayne and says pertussis, or whooping cough, is making another go-round.
Scholten says it’s very important to get five doses of the D-TAP vaccine, which helps protect you from whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus. There have been outbreaks of whooping cough in Omaha and Hastings, but Scholten says they have been contained, so far.
She says everyone needs more protection from diseases like whooping cough. She says kids get the D-TAP vaccine while adults can get a booster called TD, for tetanus and diphtheria, but not for whooping cough. You need to update your whooping cough vaccine every ten years.
Scholten says whooping cough can be much worse than just nasty hacking. It can mean shortness of breath, seizures and can develop into pneumonia. In the worst outbreak in Nebraska this year, there have been 80 confirmed cases of whooping cough in Omaha, including 20 cases at Saint Robert Bellarmine School.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton