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DPH is investigating rise of whooping cough in New Castle County

The Delaware Division of Public Health is looking into a rise in pertussis - commonly known as the whooping cough - in New Castle County.

Pertussis is a serious respiratory illness, and it can lead to severe health complications.

Those include pneumonia, passing out, seizures, apnea and death – particularly in very young children.

DPH says it develops from cold-like symptoms into a bad cough with coughing spells possibly being severe with an individual sometimes suffering from gagging or vomiting.

Some might have a high-pitched “whoop” after they cough hence the whooping cough name.

DPH says the best way to prevent pertussis is through vaccination. Children should receive five doses of the DTap vaccine between age 2 months to 6 years.

Adolescents and adults receive a dose of the adolescent/adult vaccine or Tdap.

You can check your vaccination status at the DelVax public portal.

DPH does warn those vaccinated can get and transmit pertussis as the protection from vaccine wanes over time. Symptoms will appear milder.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.