As of Dec. 16, 2013, Texas has reported 3,482 Pertussis cases to the CDC for 2013 and has reported three deaths due to Pertussis. Texas has not seen case numbers this high since 1959. Over the previous three weeks, there have been three cases of Pertussis reported to the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department. The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department encourages the citizens of Brownwood and Brown County to check vaccination records and get vaccinated for this disease.

Pertussis is also known as whooping cough. Pertussis is most harmful to young babies and can be deadly. It is very important that pregnant women and caregivers of babies maintain their Tdap vaccination.

Symptoms of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough, start with runny nose or stuffed-up nose, sneezing, mild cough, and/or a pause in breathing in infants. After one to two weeks, coughing, which can be severe, starts. This can cause babies and young children to turn blue from lack of oxygen and make eating, drinking, and sleeping difficult. Coughing fits can last for 10 weeks.

Additional information can be obtained at the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department at 510 E. Lee Street or at (325) 643-3793.