Area hospitals react to whooping cough concern - KOTA Territory News

Area hospitals react to whooping cough concern

The South Dakota Health Department has issued a statement saying the number of Pertussis or whooping cough cases in the Black Hills is on the rise. But health professionals are saying this increase in cases is not an outbreak.

 Dr. Tara Ulmar, pediatrician at Spearfish Regional Hospital, says the spike in whooping cough cases does not mean it is an outbreak. "This is not an outbreak this is just an increase number of cases and we are trying to contain it before it becomes a bigger issue," said Dr. Ulmar.
Area hospitals and senior care centers have special visitation guidelines put in place for now in order to protect patients from potential exposure to whooping cough. Some visitation restrictions are no one under 12 years of age can visit patients, only immediate family members are permitted in the maternal child and delivery areas and every patient with a cough must wear a mask.
Dr. Ulmar says they want to catch cases early. "Our biggest goal is to try to catch people at their exposure with these symptoms, giving adequate testing, make sure that we're treating them like we need to," said Ulmar.
Dr. Ulmar says there are preventative measures people can take to protect the most vulnerable infants and children. "If you're sick stay home, stay away from elderly people, stay away from young babies, hand washing, covering our mouths when we cough," said Ulmar.
Dr. Ulmar says these basic things can make a huge difference but the best containment method is immunization. "The biggest thing to do is look into your immunization schedule," said Dr. Ulmar.
For more information on Perussis you can visit this site
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