Press release from Park Ridge Health:
Due to a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in Henderson County and other Western North Carolina communities, Park Ridge Health has implemented visitor restrictions.
In order to protect patients, visitors, providers and staff, the following restrictions are in place at Park Ridge Health:
– No hospital visitors under the age of 18 permitted.
– Visitors are limited to immediate family and clergy only.
– The number of visitors is limited to one or two at a time, unless special circumstances are presented.
– No hospital visitors with cough or other whooping cough symptoms permitted.
“Park Ridge Health has been tracking the increase in pertussis activity in our communities, which has reached the point where visitor restrictions are in the best interest for the safety of our patients,” said Jimm Bunch, Park Ridge Health President & CEO.
The visitor restrictions will remain in place until the elevated risk for exposure to whooping cough comes to an end. Thank you for your cooperation in this effort to prevent the spread of the dangerous infection.
“Pertussis or whooping cough is a serious bacterial infection that affects the lungs and breathing tubes,” said Teresa Herbert, MD, MPH, FAAP, Park Ridge Health Pediatrician and Chief Medical Officer, Physician Services. “While anyone can get whooping cough, it presents a much more dangerous risk for infants, pregnant women and people who may have weakened immune systems.”
Whooping cough spreads when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes. It is spread by close contact (within 3 feet), so it is easily spread in classrooms, school buses, and among family members.
Dr. Herbert adds, you are most contagious in the early stages of the illness, before you know you are sick. The best protection is immunization.
The T-Dap vaccination reduces the risk for contracting whooping cough, and if you get the illness, can decrease the severity. It does require booster doses to maintain effectiveness.
To learn more about whooping cough and its risks, visit hendersoncounty.
If you have symptoms of whooping cough or need a vaccination, please contact your physician immediately, or call 855.PRH.LIFE (855.774.5433) to schedule an appointment with a Park Ridge Health physician.