Philadelphia/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on April 17, 2024
Montgomery County Health Officials Battle Rising Whooping Cough Cases Among High SchoolersSource: Google Street View

Montgomery County health officials are scrambling to contain a spike in whooping cough cases that have largely impacted high school students, a county spokesperson conveyed to CBS News Philadelphia. Specific numbers of those infected at the affected schools remain undisclosed.

According to NBC Philadelphia, the outbreak is spotlighting Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, where health authorities have listed runny noses, uncontrollable coughing bursts, and vomiting as common symptoms. Infected individuals have been advised to stay put at home and avoid school or other activities to curtail further spread.

In light of the outbreak, the county's Office of Public Health underscores that the effectiveness of the whooping cough vaccine can gradually decline over time. This waning immunity appears to be why cases are predominantly popping up among adolescents who would have earlier received their vaccinations during childhood, as per reports from CBS News Philadelphia.

"If children have symptoms, they should stay home from school," the county health officials emphasized, suggesting a cautious approach to managing infections. Additionally, they're reminding the public to make sure to get vaccinations updated, seeking to reinforce community immunity, as 6abc reports. The bacterium responsible for whooping cough is known to easily spread through the air and can render individuals infectious for several weeks.

Moving forward, anyone suspecting exposure to the infection, especially with persistent coughing, is urged to promptly reach out to their healthcare provider. The county's health department remains vigilant, continuing to monitor the situation closely and aiming to keep the public informed on developments.