WOOD COUNTY, W. Va. (WTAP) - The cold weather is here to stay, and you may think you have the common cold, but it could be something much worse.
Pertussis, also known as "Whooping Cough" is very common, and very contagious.
It sounds initially like a normal cough, but then there is a "whooping" sound at the end of it, which shows that the body is gasping for air.
It is common in kids and adults, but for very young infants, it is dangerous because they are too young to be vaccinated for protection. They do not have the lung capacity to get the air back in, so it could be deadly for them.
It is recommended that children get the DTaP vaccine, and the adults get the Tdap vaccine to prevent from pertussis. The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department stresses to not take "whooping cough" lightly.
"People just say, 'Oh, it's just a cold.' says Rebecca Eaton, Clinical Director for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. "But it then progresses and once you hear that sound, and once you have heard whooping cough, you'll say, 'Oh, that's what that is.' Because they are struggling so hard to get air into the lungs. And, they will get to the point of throwing up because, they are coughing so hard."
There are vaccinations available at the Health Department while supplies last.