BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WBKO) -- The Barren River Health Department has confirmed an outbreak of pertussis.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by bacteria. All age groups are susceptible to pertussis, but it most commonly affects infants and young children.
There is a vaccination for this disease, however, one can still suffer from a mild stage of pertussis, even with the vaccine.
"Pertussis usually starts out like a common cold. It can be some sneezing, it can be a runny nose. in a few days you might notice a slight cough. In a week or so, the cough becomes very hard. We call it “fits of coughing",” said Teresa Casey, Nurse Program Manager at Barren River Health Department.
Health officials say the best way to prevent pertussis is to make sure infants and children are up-to-date on their immunizations and to practice good cough etiquette.
If you feel you are suffering from pertussis, contact your healthcare provider.