Category: Health News

Zumbrota, Minnesota - Symptoms of an ordinary common cold are hard not to miss. But could it be worse? Mayo Clinic Health System has diagnosed several confirmed cases of pertussis, also commonly known as whooping cough.

Family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Wing in Zumbrota, Elizabeth Cozine, M.D. has seen patients present with symptoms. “Children and adults alike can contract whooping cough,” she says. “Yet, a simple vaccination could have prevented many of these cases.” Whooping cough can take one to three weeks for signs and symptoms to appear. They're usually mild at first and resemble those of a common cold:

After a week or two, signs and symptoms worsen. Thick mucus accumulates inside your airways, causing uncontrollable coughing. Severe and prolonged coughing attacks may:

Other things Dr. Cozine would like parents and academic leaders to be aware of during pertussis season:

Although most pertussis vaccinations are given during infancy, there is also a vaccination called the TDaP vaccination that is offered beyond infancy. This is a very important vaccine that is offered at the 11-year-old (pre-adolescent) well child check-up. Revaccination at age 11 is recommended because of the wearing off of the immunization described above.

An additional tip, one that applies to everyone: “Wash your hands and make sure your children wash their hands frequently throughout the day,” Dr. Cozine says. “The best way to prevent a cough or cold is to keep bacteria and viruses off of your skin.”