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Fayette County seeing an increasing number of whooping cough cases while other parts of the state are quiet on that illness.

Kentucky River Health District Director Scott Lockard
Kentucky River Health District
Kentucky River Health District Director Scott Lockard

Although the winter months are often thought of as high-risk periods for sickness, springtime often features its own variety of illnesses. Fayette County schools have now seen nine cases of whooping cough in the last few weeks. Three more were reported Monday and Health Department officials now label it “outbreak status.”

Scott Lockard is the Kentucky River District Health Director in eastern Kentucky. Lockard said early vaccination is the way to address these types of health issues.

“I know the pandemic here, a lot of our children got behind on their routine childhood vaccinations. And then the controversary surrounding the COVID vaccine kind of fell over into some of these other vaccinations as well,” said Lockard.

Lockard said the best protection is found in vaccinations. He noted no cases of whooping cough have been reported in Perry, Knott, Letcher, Leslie, Lee, Wolfe, and Owsley Counties. Lockard added there has been a variety of respiratory ailments including COVID. Lockard said the timing of these illnesses carries a positive note.

“Typically the highest level of mass congregation that we have in each of our counties is when our schools are in session. Whenever we see that transitioning out and kids getting out for summer, that’s gonna help slow the spread of these illnesses,” said Lockard.

Lockard said cases of COVID are still a part of the illness landscape in the seven-county region. He said it’s important for those ill to stay home and remain there until fever-free without medication for 24 hours.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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