Second pertussis case confirmed in Lexington high school

Republished from WEKU.

A second case of pertussis has been confirmed at Bryan Station High School in Lexington. This is the city’s third case since late April. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is investigating if a possible connection exists between these cases.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread through coughing and sneezing, often referred to as whopping cough. It can affect people of all ages but can most seriously impact infants and those with chronic illness.

For high risk students potentially exposed, the Health Department recommends preventive antibiotics. These are students with a chronic illness or weakened immune system as well as those living in households with a family member with a chronic illness or weakened immune system, an infant, or a pregnant woman.

If any school-age children are exhibiting symptoms, they are urged to stay home and visit a healthcare provider. Early symptoms of pertussis are similar to the common cold. They include runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and coughing. The cough gets progressively worse after 1-2 weeks, leading to coughing spells.

One dose of the booster vaccine Tdap is recommended for those 11 years of age and older. Vaccines are required for school-aged children, but teenagers and adults are encouraged to consult their health care provider about the Tdap booster. Boosters are recommended as vaccine effectiveness decreases overtime.

For more information on pertussis, call 859-288-2437 or visit

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.