BELL COUNTY (August 28, 2012) --- As kids headed back to the classroom this week, Bell County Health District Officials warned of one disease that’s going around that parents need to look out for.
A total of 106 confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported to the Bell County Public Health District since February.
New cases have been reported weekly, but the number dropped while school was out for the summer and health officials say they expect the number of cases to pick up now that kids are back in class.
A persistent cough that lasts more than ten days could be a sign of pertussis.
"It's the highest its been in years the last time there was an outbreak for pertussis was in 2009 and it was 35 cases so this is greater than its been in the last five years," Lacey Sanders of the Bell County Public Health District said.
Sanders also warned of West Nile, another on-going concern for parents.
While pertussis and West Nile symptoms are not the same a high fever and exposure to mosquitoes will be signs a doctor looks for if he is checking for West Nile.
On Monday the cases in Bell County dropped from 10 to 8.
Doctors ran more tests on many of the patients and in two of the cases the results came back negative for West Nile.
One of those patients was a 2-year-old girl who was treated in Austin at Dell Children's Medical Center.