PETERSBURG-AK Petersburg Medical Center Clinic this week confirmed it has treated a case of pertusis or whooping cough in a local family. The respiratory disease is highly contagious and can be especially dangerous for infants. It initially comes on as a cold but eventually leads to severe coughing that can last for weeks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, localized outbreaks of whooping cough are not uncommon. Several states reported them in 2010, however California had a unusually large statewide epidemic, affecting thousands.
Health care officials are working to avoid an outbreak in petersburg by trying to identify and treat people who may have the illness, and by encouraging people to make sure they are up to date on their pertusis immunizations.
Matt Lichtenstein spoke with Petersburg Medical Center staff physician Dr. John Bergren about the issue:
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