VDH: Pertussis cases found in Rockbridge and Montgomery counties

VIRGINIA – There’s a community outbreak of pertussis cases in the region, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

They said there have been nine total confirmed and suspected cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, within adults in Rockbridge County since the beginning of April.

Montgomery County has also had several confirmed and suspected cases, some of which are in school-aged children.

We’re told as part of the public health investigation, several people, including children, have received testing, treatment, and/or post-exposure antibiotics in accordance with the CDC.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease, characterized by severe coughing.

The disease can be very severe in children less than one year of age. It can also be a serious illness for pregnant women too.

New River Health District Epidemiologist Jason Deese recommends people take precautions.

“Adults who’ve not been vaccinated with pertussis containing vaccine should get one, and can get one at anytime,” Deese said.

Health District officials said pertussis is considered endemic throughout the Southwest Virginia region, meaning cases are routinely diagnosed in the area. Pertussis can be prevented by vaccination, but protection from illness may decrease over time.

For more information on pertussis, click here.

About the Authors

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.

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