© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Public Health Officials Warn of Whooping Cough Outbreak in Eugene

Centers for Disease Control

Public health officials are concerned about an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, at Sheldon High School in Eugene.

Lane County Public Health has confirmed 10 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, at Sheldon High School in Eugene. Dr. Patrick Luedtke with Lane County Public Health says pertussis can spread quickly among those who are not vaccinated.
Luedtke: “We are not the best vaccinated state and Lane County is not the best vaccinated of Oregon’s 36 counties, so we are clearly at risk. So this is a preventive measure to say, it’s out there, go get protected, and practice respiratory etiquette.”
Luedtke says that includes covering your cough, disposing of tissues and washing hands frequently. Symptoms of whooping cough include fever, runny nose and in children, a distinctive cough.
 “Influenza-- one case will cause 2 more, if somebody is not immune.” Luedtke says, “But whooping cough-- one case will cause 15 or 16 more. So, in a population that’s not immune, not adequately protected, you can get these massive wildfire outbreaks of hundreds or thousands of cases.”  

Luedtke says whooping cough, or pertussis, can be deadly for infants and babies.

Symptoms of pertussis: Runny nose, congestion, cough, sneeze, fever.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
Related Content