You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

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.


Welcome to

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.

Pertussis outbreak slows in Clark County

The pertussis outbreak in Clark County has slowed, but the area remains among the Ohio counties with the highest concentration of the disease.

There are more than 1,200 confirmed cases of the disease, also known as whooping cough, in Ohio and nearly 80 cases have been confirmed in Clark County, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said Clark County has had 77 confirmed cases of pertussis since January (ODH reports 78) and 47 of those cases were diagnosed since since Oct. 1. There are also 92 suspected and three probable cases for 2013.

But Patterson said officials are not diagnosing one patient with pertussis per day as they had previously.

“It has slowed down,” Patterson said. “Hopefully, it’s attributed to the fact that more people are getting vaccinated and more are aware of this and are staying home if they are diagnosed with it.”

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that often makes it hard to breathe.

Signs of the disease include runny nose, low-grade fever and an initial mild cough. As the disease progresses, the coughing will become more rapid and is followed by a high-pitched “whoop,” vomiting or exhaustion.

Whooping cough can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications, permanent disability and even death, especially in infants and young children, according to the FDA.

Statewide, Clark, Madison, Pickaway, Licking, Delaware and Richland counties have the highest rates of the disease, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Clark County has the highest rate in the state.

Dr. Mary DiOrio, an epidemiologist for ODH, said Franklin County had a pertussis outbreak in 2010 and speculated that the high concentration of the disease in Clark and other counties could be due to waning immunity and mulitple other factors.

“We definitely have a lot of cases. We could have our highest year this year (since 2010). It could go either way. It’s hard to predict,” DiOrio said.

Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there were 48,277 cases of pertussis nationwide last year, compared to 22,304 cases reported to the agency so far this year.

He said the whooping cough cases tend to be “very cyclical,” but studies by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicate that the rising number of cases is due in part to changes to the vaccine in the 1990s.

McDonald said the new vaccine is good at “protecting someone from getting ill, but does not stop the spread.”

He also said the spread of the disease is not likely to be due to parents opting not to vaccinate their children as more than 90 percent kindergarten age children nationwide are vaccinated.

Patterson urged area residents to continue to take precautions to prevent the disease.

“People should still remain vigilant and if they have contemplated getting vaccinated, I still recommend getting the vaccine,” Patterson said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Trump to meet with Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago next week
Trump to meet with Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago next week

President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, next week, according to Lantana Police Chief Sean Scheller. >> Read more trending news Scheller made the announcement Monday at the Lantana Town Council meeting, and said the Chinese president plans to stay at...
Apocalyptic-looking clouds officially identified
Apocalyptic-looking clouds officially identified

The afternoon of Monday, March 20, unique and ominous-looking clouds were spotted across parts of southwest Ohio. The picture with this article was taken by Melissa Taylor. At first glance, the clouds looked like rolling, storm waves in an ocean. In fact, these clouds almost look apocalyptic. It turns out that last Friday, March 24, the World Meteorological...
Texas: Quick-thinking Boy Scouts save man’s life on sailboat
Texas: Quick-thinking Boy Scouts save man’s life on sailboat

What would you do if you found yourself with your father’s life in your hands? That was the situation 14-year-old Tex “T” Mitchell IV faced one afternoon while sailing on Lake Belton, west of Temple, Texas, with three of his friends under the guidance of his dad. >> Read more trending news “My dad started laying down and...
5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay
5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay

Monday, March 27, marks the first-ever Muslim Women’s Day — a day for Muslim women to share their stories and for others to celebrate them during Women’s History Month. Created by with the help of dozens of media groups and websites, the day is an opportunity to “hear from a community that’s often talked...
Triad schools spend more than $400K on new, safer windows
Triad schools spend more than $400K on new, safer windows

The Triad Local School District will spend more than $400,000 to replace windows at the elementary and middle school. The board of education voted to approve the two projects during a March regular school board meeting. The money will come out of the district’s general funds. “The most important role of a school building is to keep kids...
More Stories