Doctor Tony Avnaim ordered the Pertussis test for Amanda Garlarneau when she came in with classic symptoms. She knew she had been around a friend with the illness.
She explains, "There were times when it was just horrible. Your whole chest hurts and you just cough and cough and you cant stop."
Pertussis is an illness that is on the rise and doctors at Academic Primary Care Associates in Blacksburg are keeping an eye on the trend.
Dr. Michelle Jacobs, Chair, Preventive Medicine and Public Health Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine says, "We are seeing an increase in Pertussis on a weekly basis here in the New River Valley much like what we are seeing around the country."
*2011 - 399 cases
*2012 - 578 cases
*2013 - so far 84 cases
Dr. Jacobs says, "The cases in the U.S. and here in the N.R.V. are those cases in which we have older grandparents in which their childhood immunization has worn off. They are passing it on to infants. Infants are particularly at risk because they don't have any immunization or protection to Pertussis."
The Tdap vaccine protects against Pertussis or Whooping Cough and anyone who is 19 or older or going through pregnancy needs to have the booster in order to prevent the spread.
*Young children need 5 shots
*Older children and adults
While Amanda feels much better now, she still has some symptoms three months after the first coughing began.