Vermont reports 12 new whooping cough cases

The state of Vermont has reported another 12 confirmed cases of pertussis within the last week, which brings the total to 47 cases so far this year.
Chittenden County schools have had 11 cases of the disease since the start of school. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs. Pertussis is a vaccine preventable illness, WCAX reports.
The last major outbreak of pertussis in Vermont was in 1996, when there were 280 reported cases. The state has not had a pertussis death in almost two decades.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pertussis spreads from person to person by coughing or sneezing when in close contact with others. Many infants who are infected with pertussis become infected by older siblings, caregivers or parents who might not even know they have the illness. Pertussis symptoms typically develop within seven to 10 days after exposure, but sometimes not for as long as six weeks.
Early symptoms of pertussis include a runny nose, low-grade fever, mild, occasional cough and a pause in breathing known as apnea. As the disease progresses, other symptoms may include fits of many rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched "whoop," vomiting and exhaustion caused by the coughing fits.