Whooping cough cases expected to hit record breaking numbers

Pertussis, also known as the whooping cough, is very contagious.

So far this year two children have died from the disease in Texas and 2,160 cases have been reported in the U.S.

Last week, Texas state officials issued a health alert which has caused many daycares to take extra precautions to prevent children from getting the disease.

Early Beginnings Childcare in McAllen is amping up their germ fighting tactics after getting the notice from the state on September 3rd.

Our concern is the safety of the children, Bobbie Rodriguez, daycare director said. We want our parents to be aware of the virus and how serious it is.

Symptoms of the whooping cough include runny nose, sneezing, mild cough and a pause in breathing in infants.

The disease quickly escalates to a hard cough that is followed by a whooping sound as the person gasps for breath after a cough attack.

The disease has proven deadly for the smallest of children.

Infants are the group we are really worried about because they are not immunized under 2 months of age, Dr. Brian Smith, of Texas State Health Services, said.

So far this year more than 2,100 cases have been confirmed in the country.

The number of cases this year is expected to top the highest recorded number which was back in 2009 of 3,358.

Early Beginnings has never had a case of the disease.

Anyone who is around small children should be immunized with the vaccine DTaP, Dr. Smith said.

The Center for Disease Control gives these tips to protect children from spreading of contracting whooping cough:

-Keep newborns away from anyone with cold symptoms or a cough.

-Vaccinate you child on time.

-Make sure you, your child TMs caregivers, and older siblings get a one-time recommended dose of TDaP vaccine to protect themselves and children too young to be fully vaccinated.

-Talk with your child TMs doctor if you have questions.

-Keep a record of your child TMs vaccinations to make sure you child is up-to-date.