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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Health Center Patients Warned Of Whooping Cough Outbreak

UPDATE -- A highly contagious, batecterial outbreak is sweeping through Clark County. Friday afternoon, the Clark Co. Combined Health Dist. said it's investigating 40 suspected cases of whooping cough. One of the confirmed cases is a health center employee ho could have potentially spread the illness to patients, or contracted it from them.

Ashley Claar is the mother of baby Carson who's 6 weeks old. He's already on antibiotics, because he's a patient at the Rocking Horse Health Center in Springfield. Ashley got a call Friday morning telling her Carson may have been exposed to Pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

"It's kind of scary but I try to keep him as protected as I can," she said.

The health dept. says whooping cough cases have been on the rise for the past week. It was just Friday morning that the health center employee case was confirmed. The Rocking Horse immediately shut its doors and called patients who may have been exposed, including Ashley.

"They asked if he had any symptoms and if there were any other kids living with us, and the first sign of a cold to take him to the physician, don't hesitiate," Ashley said.

"We have quite a bit of the disease out in the community and in the schools and what parents need to be doing is they need to be looking for the signs and symptoms, that persistent cough," said Health Dist. Director Charles Patterson.

The health department says the Rocking Horse has gone above and beyond CDC guidelines for dealing with outbreaks by treating every employee who works at the center, and their family members.

They also want parents to make sure their kids are up-to-date on their Pertussis booster shots, because right now it's unclear if this whooping cough outbreak has peaked.

The Rocking Horse will re-open on Monday morning.

EARLIER ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: It's being called a community outbreak.  There are at least 40 cases of suspected Pertussis, also known as "whooping cough," in Clark County.  The Clark Co. Combined Health Dist. believes it could get potentially get worse.

Friday morning the Rocking Horse Community Health Center confirmed an employee has whooping cough.  The center has shut its doors until Monday and treated all employees as a precaution.  Friday afternoon, the center began contacting patients who could have been exposed to the highly contagious illness.

"Most of the time a pediatric provider is highly exposed to what the kids bring in.  Because Pertussis is for the most part a childhood disease, I think she was exposed and then spread it," said Center Director, Dr. Yamimi Teegala.

The health department says parents need to keep a close eye on their kids for the signs of Pertussis, like persistent coughing and a runny nose.


SPRINGFIELD -- The Clark County Combined Health District is investigating 40 suspected cases of Pertussis or whopping cough.

If confirmed, that number of Pertussis cases would represent a significant increase in yearly activity for Clark County, the county health department said. As a result, it is important that county residents take note and are diligent in protecting themselves and children against the disease.

According to the Clark County combined Health District, Pertussis is a respiratory illness also known as whooping cough. It is a very contagious disease caused by bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis is found in humans and is spread from person to person. The disease can be passed by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the bacteria. 

Signs and Symptoms include:
Runny nose
Low-grade fever (generally minimal throughout the course of the disease)
Initially a mild, occasional cough
As the disease progresses: rapid coughing, followed by high-pitched whoop; vomiting; exhaustion
Apnea- a pause in breathing (in infants)

Pertussis can be prevented with vaccines.  The vaccination is recommended for people of all ages. 
Infants and children should get five doses of DTaP for maximum protection. 
A booster dose of Tdap is given to preteens at 11 or 12 years of age.

The treatment for Pertussis with antibiotics and early treatment is very important.
Following the schedule for giving antibiotics exactly as your doctor prescribed.
Keeping your home free from irritants - as much as possible - that can trigger coughing, such as smoke, dust, and chemical fumes.
Using a clean, cool mist vaporizer to help loosen secretions and soothe the cough.
Drinking plenty of fluids, including water, juices, and soups, and eating fruits to prevent dehydration (lack of fluids).
Report any signs of dehydration to your doctor immediately. These include dry, sticky mouth, sleepiness or tiredness, thirst, decreased urination or fewer wet diapers, few or no tears when crying, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness.
Eating small, frequent meals to help prevent vomiting if occurring.

For more information contact the Clark County Combined Health District at 937-390-5600, or online at

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