13 cases of 'whooping cough' confirmed

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By Bob White


Since a handful of pertussis cases was first reported in Hardin County last week, the number of those diagnosed with 'whooping cough' has grown to 13, health officials said Friday.

Linda Sims, Public Health Director with Lincoln Trail Health Department, said all confirmed cases stem from three Elizabethtown-area schools and day cares tied to those schools.

Those confirmed with pertussis this week all have ties to St. James parochial school, Elizabethtown Christian Academy and Heartland Elementary.

Lab results on others tested for the bacterial respiratory infection will be available Monday, Sims said.

The Elizabethtown outbreak of the infection follows a rash of cases in Bullitt County. A connection has not yet been found between the two sets of cases.

Symptoms of pertussis are similar to a common cold, but one which develops a strong cough after about 10 days.

Children are vaccinated against pertussis with a series of shots beginning in infancy.

According to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, pertussis can be a mere nuisance for adults and adolescents who contract the infection after vaccines wear off, but can be a killer for young, unvaccinated children.