Wrestlers Catch Whooping Cough at Match


Four Kamiak High School athletes on the wrestling team caught whooping cough at a statewide competition last month. The students and their team mates attended the statewide competition last month in Tacoma, Washington. It is reported that 1,180 student athletes participated in the event. It is estimated the event was watched by 30,000 spectators.

Health officials have discovered that 15 people who attended the event had whooping cough. A combination of wrestlers, coaches, and spectators from the Kittitas and Pacific counties were among those found to be infected.

The health officials met with the 5 coaches and the 48 members of Kamiak High School's wrestling team yesterday. They were advised to go to a medical clinic to be tested for whooping cough.

Whooping cough (Pertussis) is a very contagious disease. It is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. It is one of the most common vaccine-preventable childhood diseases in the U.S. Both children and adults can get pertussis.

The CDC reports that since the 1980s, there's been a dramatic increase in the number of cases of pertussis. The increase is seen mostly among teens (10–19 years of age) and babies less than 5 months of age. In 2005, there were more than 25,000 total reported cases.


Whooping cough can cause serious illness in children and adults. The disease starts like the common cold, with runny nose or congestion, sneezing, and maybe mild cough or fever. Severe coughing begins after 1–2 weeks.

It’s from the cough that the disease gets its name. Often children with the disease will cough so violently and rapidly that they don’t have a chance to refill their lungs. When they do finally inhale, it is with so much force that a loud “whooping” sound is made.

Whooping cough (pertussis) is spread by coughing or sneezing. Those nearby breath in the pertussis bacteria.

The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. Protection against whooping cough, or pertussis, is included in the DTaP vaccine, which also protects against diphtheria and tetanus. Health officials recommend that children should be immunized with five doses of the vaccine by the time they are 6 years old.

Vaccine protection for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis can fade with time. It is recommended that adolescents and adults get boosters. This is done with the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap). Preteens should get one at a regular checkup. Adults should get one every 10 years.

Herald Net (Snohomish County, WA) Online News
Center for Disease Control and Prevention