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Nine Children Diagnosed With Whooping Cough in Howard County

Texas is seeing a state wide pertussis outbreak, generally known as whooping cough. And West Texas moms are worried.
HOWARD COUNTY -- Texas is seeing a state wide pertussis outbreak, generally known as whooping cough. And West Texas moms are worried.

"Scared, I'm terrified. I wouldn't want my baby to pass away from that. I mean, that's serious you know, 'cause it's deadly," said Mellodie Williams.

Williams has a three-year old and three-month old.

But she's not the only mother concerned.

"It's scary because you never know what could happen. I mean, it's just scary to me," said a Mom of five who asked to remain anonymous.

"One of the symptoms was a runny nose and my baby who was three years old and he's a high risk baby so he, I seen it and I got scared so I immediately took him to the doctor, his pediatrician," said the mother who wished to remain anonymous.

According to the Department of State Health Services, the disease has already claimed three lives in Texas, all children who were too young to be vaccinated at the time.

The department reports the nine children in Howard County who were diagnosed with pertussis in November all had been vaccinated.

Health officials say they key is making sure you're child's vaccinations are current.

"I would recommend for everybody get vaccinated because it's scary," the woman said.

With the current pertussis outbreak, Williams says she's not taking her baby's cold more seriously.

"She just got it today, when she woke up from her nap she had a fever of a hundred," Williams said.

Health officials say pertussis is a bacterial infection that generally starts with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough and can eventually lead to severe coughing for several weeks.

Williams isn't taking any chances and plans to take her daughter to the doctor on Wednesday.

"I don't know what I would do if I lost my daughter you know, my kids are my life. So, I would lose it, I would lose it," said Williams. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children need to get a series of five pertussis shots to be fully vaccinated against the disease.


Officials suggest babies getting a shot of the vaccine at each of the following ages:


2 months


4 months


6 months


15 through 18 months 


4 through 6 years





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