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Whooping Cough Cases Reported In 17 Lane County Schools

On Health

The number of whooping cough cases continues to rise in Lane County. Now 59 people have been sickened with the highly contagious disease.  Public health officials are ramping up outreach efforts to get more people-- particularly adults-- vaccinated.

It started with a single outbreak of pertussis in Sheldon High School. Now, 17 schools in metro Lane County report Whooping Cough cases.  

Senior Public Health Officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke, says the fact that many of the sick are young adults indicates teens aren’t getting the vaccination “booster” for pertussis.  

“It’s called TDaP. It actually has three different products in it. It has T- for Tetanus, the D is Diphtheria and aP is acellular pertussis. Those are dead vaccines. They have the key chemicals from those bacteria that your immune system recognizes and then makes immunity against.”

Whooping Cough is especially dangerous to infants.

“They have very small airways and it floods the airways with mucus and inflammation, they get even smaller and they can’t breath and that’s how they die.”

The pertussis bacteria can have a 3-week incubation period so officials expects to see more cases before this epidemic ends.

Below is a list of Lane County schools reporting Whooping Cough cases in students as of 05/10/18 :

Adams Ele. Teacher
Cal Young Middle
Coburg Comm. Charter
Edgewood Elementary
Fairfield Elementary
Hamlin MS
Howard Elementary (1st Grade Teacher)
Junction City HS
Monroe MS- 7th Grade
N. Eugene High School
O'hara Catholic
Sheldon HS
Springfield HS
Thurston HS
U of O
Willamette HS
Willamette Leadership Academy

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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