LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Over 1,900 cases ofPertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, have been reported across thestate since the end of August.
It's the highest numberthe state has seen in 50 years. Several of those cases were from AngelinaCounty.
"It wasn't the normalallergies," Elisabeth Grimes said when talking about her 15 month old daughter,Lexi. "It was a pretty nasty cough.
Worried, Grimes would lookup KTRE news articles.
"I saw the articlesabout the whooping cough, and I really didn't think that is what she had,"Grimes said. "I really just thought it was a cold and it kind of scaredme."
She would immediately takeher daughter to her doctor and then get a test. While waiting on results, the pediatrician prescribed medicine for notonly Lexi but for her brother and parents as well.
"We went to thepharmacy and picked up her medicine and immediately came home," Grimes said. "Wedidn't leave for five days. We did not want to infect anybody else if we hadthe potential of having it."
The test came backpositive, but five days of medication would stop the cough.
Medical experts say that taking theseproactive steps for the whole family is one of the best ways to prevent thespread of Pertussis.
"It is veryreasonable to have close contacts treated, especially if there are people atrisk for the disease; people who have underlining medical problems or smallchildren in the house or people who would be around small children," said JosephKoch, doctor at Tall pines Family Clinic.
Koch said that earlyproactive steps help but the best way to eliminate Pertussis is by gettingvaccinated.
"Anyone who is going to be around littlekids, especially infants should be vaccinated against it," Koch said. "You cancheck with your doctor when your last vaccination was but it is generally everyfive years."
Koch said that parents sometimes jump to theconclusion of whooping cough and the best way to know is look for symptomsincluding the onset of a fever and prolonged coughing that causes choking orvomiting.