Health department: Whooping cough outbreak declared in Lexington

The Lexington-Fayette Health Department on Monday declared a whooping cough outbreak in Lexington.

The number of cases in Lexington has increased in three weeks from six to nine with the new cases involving an additional student at Lafayette High School, a young student at St. Peter and Paul Catholic School and a patient in their 80s, said department spokesperson Kevin Hall.

“The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has declared pertussis, or whooping cough, in outbreak status after nine total cases have been confirmed since late April, including three more cases on Monday,” Hall said.

Previously, Fayette County’s six cases were all in school-aged children and had been reported since late April, including two confirmed cases at Lafayette and Henry Clay high schools.

Other cases were at Bryan Station, Lafayette and Lexington Catholic high schools.

People should be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of pertussis, or whooping cough, while ensuring their kids are up to date on their vaccines or fully vaccinated with the booster.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. It affects people of all ages but can be most serious in infants and those with chronic diseases.

This is a developing story and may be updated.