Purtussis Virus on the Rise in Angelina County

by Kirby Gibbs

Lufkin, TX. - Angelina County has seen a rise in cases of the whooping caugh, a virus clinically known as Pertussis. It's a disease that can last for many weeks and is transmitted through caughing and being in contact with mucous membranes. Brandon Elementary in Lufkin has already seen their share of cases. Angelina County and Cities Health District is doing their part to keep this virus under control.

Sharon Shaw, the Administrator of Angelina County and Cities Health District says it's a virus that's not that hard to catch. "All you have to do is cough on somebody. It's very easily transmitted. It's like a cold or the flu, it's just you cough in a room of people enough, especially kids cause they don't cover their mouth, they don't use tissues, you know... they use their sleeves or whatever and so they're easier to transfer to each other."

Although the most noticible symptom is a whooping caugh, according to Shaw, Pertussis can cause major complications such as severe coughing. Also oxygen levels can go down and then secondary infections can set in. If it's an elderly or new born baby, we wanna make sure we don't have someone with the disease and then have complications and they wind up in the hospital and possible death.

So the Angelina County and Cities Health Distirict is doing its part in schools and the public to prevent the spread of the virus. Today, that meant two trips to Brandon Elementary to tackle the problem head on.

"Now they have recommended up until last week that a good way to curtail the virus would be to issue an antibiotics to our parents", says L.I.S.D. Assistant Superintendent Lynn Torres. As a precaution, the staff at brandon was also offered the chance to take the antibiotics.

There have been 8 lab confirmed cases in Angelina County and 30 probable cases. So far AngelinaCcounty and Cities Health District has treated over 200 people, not including those students and teachers treated today at Brandon Elementary.