You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Clark pertussis cases still rising

Health department orders additional vaccine to combat record high numbers.


The outbreak of pertussis cases in Clark County follows a national trend that shows that whooping cough rates reached a 50-year high last year.

Clark County has had a record 117 confirmed and suspected cases of pertussis since Oct. 1, up from 98 before the Thanksgiving holiday, Clark County Combined Health District Director Charles Patterson said.

Patterson expressed frustration Friday after announcing the pertussis outbreak continued to climb in the area.

“There is some frustration because, if one family with the disease has extended family of 10 people, and each of them spread it to five or 10 people, it makes it difficult to stop,” Patterson said.

The disease, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that often makes it hard to breathe.

This year, Ohio has seen a 20 percent increase in reported pertussis cases, compared to 2012. As of Nov. 2, there had been 901 cases reported in 2013, compared with 742 on the same date in 2012.

Clark, Madison, Pickaway, Licking, Delaware and Richland counties have the highest rates of the disease statewide, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

ODH is expected to provide an update on the number of pertussis cases statewide this week, said Tessie Pollock, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health.

But whooping cough cases have been rising nationwide since the 1980s, according to a new study by the Food and Drug Administration.

Reasons for the increase are multi-pronged, but may be due in part to changes to the pertussis vaccine, according to the study.

The FDA conducted the study in baboons, an animal that reproduces whooping cough similar to humans. Two groups of baboons were vaccinated with whole-cell pertussis vaccine and the accelluar vaccine, which replaced the use of whole-cell vaccine in the 1990 due to concerns about sides effects.

“Animals that received an acellular pertussis vaccine had the bacteria in their airways for up to six weeks and were able to spread the infection to unvaccinated animals. In contrast, animals that received whole-cell vaccine cleared the bacteria within three weeks,” according to a news release from Jennifer Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the FDA.

Other reasons for the increase in whooping cough are that fewer children are getting the pertussis vaccine, improved diagnostic testing, and increased reporting.

But the FDA study indicates that the newer vaccine may not stop the spread of the disease as well as its predecessor.

“This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease,” the news release said.

Patterson has seen an increase in area residents seeking the pertussis vaccine. He said the health department has ordered extra pertussis vaccine in recent weeks to meet the demand.

Patterson urges those who are around infants or those with compromised immune systems to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

He also said those diagnosed with the disease need to stay home from school or work until they have been on an antibiotic regime for five days.

“These cases are still continuing to mount. We’re in uncharted territory. We’ve never seen these types of numbers in Clark County or the region,” Patterson said.

“It can potentially be fatal. There may be only a few at great risk. But they don’t have to be exposed to the disease when it can be prevented.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Official's 'racist pig' comment about John Lewis spurs apologies, calls for resignation
Official's 'racist pig' comment about John Lewis spurs apologies, calls for resignation

One after another, for 2 1/2 hours, they stepped up to the podium. Some carried signs. Some carried anger. Most, if not all, carried the same message. They wanted Gwinnett County, Georgia, Commissioner Tommy Hunter — who recently called civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis a "racist pig" on Facebook — to resign. &ldquo...
Addicts harm pets to obtain animal painkillers, vets say
Addicts harm pets to obtain animal painkillers, vets say

Veterinarians in New York are concerned about pets in the area after cases in which drug addicts have intentionally hurt their pets to get their hands on a painkiller used for animals. Tramadol was categorized as a controlled substance three years ago, WTEN reported. It is available only via prescription at pharmacies as a common treatment for pets...
WATCH: Florida fishermen freak out while trying to catch jumping shark
WATCH: Florida fishermen freak out while trying to catch jumping shark

A group of Florida fishermen caught a suspected Mako shark near Indian Rocks Beach, WTVT reported. Watch the video here iframe scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen src="http://up.
Texas police officer shot, killed; suspect dead
Texas police officer shot, killed; suspect dead

A Texas police officer reportedly was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon while responding to a call about an armed man outside a house in Little Elm, a Dallas suburb.
Light drizzle for morning commute, dry time and sun to return
Light drizzle for morning commute, dry time and sun to return

Light drizzle early this morning Drying out this afternoon through Thursday More rain Friday and Sunday Today: Light drizzle will be possible through sunrise this morning leading to some wet roadways, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. Temperatures will start in the upper 30s and will eventually rise to the low to mid-40s this afternoon...
More Stories