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Whooping cough cases on the rise

By Emily Baucum, News 4 Reporter
Facebook: Emily Baucum TV
Twitter: @EmilyBaucum

SAN ANTONIO -- Doctors have a warning for parents as the new school year begins: the whooping cough is spreading in Bexar County.

Pediatricians say the virus really picked up in the past few weeks, especially among children.

So far this year there have been 54 cases of whooping cough in Bexar County, compared to 69 cases in all of last year.

Infants and kids under ten are the most at risk.

Doctors say its very hard to diagnose whooping cough because at first, the symptoms can be confused with the common cold. Its only later when a patient develops the persistent cough and wheezing.

We call it the whooping cough. Doctors call it pertussis, and it can be deadly. That's why early detection is so important.

"The actual treatment for pertussis is only effective in the first stage of the illness," said Dr. Kris Rittichier of Methodist Childrens Hospital. "So in that stage where it looks like the common cold, we can treat it and actually make the illness much shorter."

Doctors are urging parents to make sure their children get the three-shot vaccination before school starts next week.
 
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