Officials at Aspirus Wausau Hospital are taking action to limit the spread of pertussis, after learning patients and employees were exposed to the infection in recent weeks.
Multiple cases of pertussis—commonly known as whooping cough—have been reported throughout central Wisconsin in September. Since learning of the exposure, Aspirus has been working with the Marathon County Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Public Health to ensure patients, visitors and employees are given appropriate preventative treatment, says hospital spokesman Andy Napgezek. Health officials also confirmed a case of whooping cough at Wausau East High School last week.
Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe and results in a “whooping” sound while taking deep breaths. Pertussis affects people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old. Symptoms can take between seven and 10 days to appear, Napgezek says.
The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.