PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KNWA) — A student at Pea Ridge Intermediate School has been diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough, according to Arkansas Department of Health.
It’s a contagious disease involving the respiratory tract caused by bacterium. If diagnosed soon after symptoms arise, it can be treated with an antibiotic, according to Dr. Jennifer A. Dillaha, ADH medical director of immunizations.
Those in the area encouraged to get a DTaP vaccine to help protect against whooping cough, Dillaha stated. Those who aren’t up-to-date with the vaccine may contact their doctor, pharmacist, local health department or other health care providers.
Parents and guardians in the area of Pea Ridge are encouraged to monitor their child’s respiratory symptoms especially during the next week.
Symptoms of whooping cough vary depending on the stage of the disease.
Early symptoms can last for one or two weeks and include runny nose, low-grade fever, and occasional coughs. Babies experience apnea, or breathing pauses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Later-stage symptoms progress to coughing fits that lead to fainting and vomiting, according to CDC. Those with the disease will become exhausted following coughing fits.
Recovery is slow. The cough will digress, but may return with other respiratory infections for many months after the whooping cough began, according to CDC.