Rise in whooping cough, bronchitis, and pneumonia - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Rise in whooping cough, bronchitis, and pneumonia

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Local medical professionals say adults should get vaccinated. Local medical professionals say adults should get vaccinated.
Wright said the CDC hasn't been able to pinpoint why there's a rise, but said it could be because of lack of immunization. Wright said the CDC hasn't been able to pinpoint why there's a rise, but said it could be because of lack of immunization.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Medical professionals say there's a rise in bronchitis and pneumonia cases this summer, and whooping cough cases this year.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention named 18 states that have a higher risk this year of new whooping cough cases than the national level. Two of those states are Missouri and Illinois.

Local medical professionals, Marie Wright, an advanced practice nurse at Southeast Primary Care, and Delores McDowell, a nurse practitioner at Cape Primary Care, say the biggest thing is for adults and children to get vaccinated.

Wright said the CDC hasn't been able to pinpoint why there's a rise, but said it could be because of lack of immunization. Wright said if your child has had a cough for more than a week, and leaves them short of breath, it's time to see a doctor.

"It's this, actual whoop, as they're inhaling in, but anything like that they're losing weight, they're not able to keep fluids down, or it's just a progressive cough that it's just not getting better, bring them in to your primary care provider," said Wright.

McDowell said she sees a spike in the disease every 3 to 5 years. She said you can help contain those outbreaks by getting vaccinated.

"You can get infected even if you've had the Pertussis vaccine, but the disease is much milder, and your body is able to tolerate it a lot easier," said McDowell.

"There's a lot of talk out there regarding Autism with immunization, but immunization is key to prevention of this disease," said Wright.

This summer doctors are also talking about an increase in upper respiratory infections.

"I think we've seen much more frequency in that," said Wright.

Wright said she's also seen more cases of Bronchitis and Pneumonia this summer compared to last.

"I would have to say the weather has contributed to that as well," said Wright.

 

She said allergens are more airborne this summer because of the dry conditions, and can lead to respiratory inflammation.

"I think some of its related to the allergies, the sinus infections, you know the immune systems gone down from fighting off the sinuses, this chronic inflammation from the allergies, so yeah I believe there's been an increase instances, and this dry weather has not helped," said Wright. "Then they also get the drainage from the actual allergens and the drainage with that coupled with, it inflames the airways, the airways start closing up a little bit, and then you have the inflammation that causes the Bronchitis."

"This heat does a big number on your respiratory system," said McDowell.

McDowell said she hasn't necessarily seen more cases, but has seen people coming in more sick.

"Because they've already tried the cough syrup, the Tylenol PM, all of the medications that are over the counter before they come in," said McDowell.

Wright said the hot weather pushes people to pools, and air conditioned public places. Spots where a lot of people can get cool, and spread disease.

"So what do you have, you have people not washing their hands, touching objects that already have bacteria or viruses on them," said Wright.

"The close contact with other human beings, that's what puts us at risk," said McDowell.

Doctors say some symptoms to look for in any of these illnesses are: cough, a deep cough or cough that gets worse when you lie down, wheezing, shortness of breath, or dizziness.

"If your child is not getting better after a week, it's time to go see a healthcare professional," said McDowell.

Both McDowell and Wright said washing your hands is a big help in preventing spreading disease.

You can learn more about the whooping cough outbreaks here.

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