Keller church sends out whooping cough warning ahead of expected - Dallas News |

Keller church sends out whooping cough warning ahead of expected spike

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A Keller church is notifying its congregation that a 5th grader who attended services there has the whooping cough, and they may, too.

For some families, the news was appreciated.

Brandi Lee and her husband say the email from their church, the Fellowship of the Parks, notifying them about a pertussis case was very important to them.

"Well, I kinda worry because my daughter has asthma, so if she got whooping cough, that would make her asthma really bad,” said Brandi.

The email sent to the congregation said, "If you or your child has attended services on Sunday, April 13th or Sunday, April 20th, you or your child may have been exposed."

"…And it was an appropriate time for them to say, ‘Hey, we've got this going on,’ so I appreciate that,” said church member Jason Squires.

The Tarrant County Health Department notified the church about the case and is bracing for a spike soon of the coughing sickness.

"The kids, at a certain age, they cough so much, and when they gasp for air, it makes an inspiratory 'hoop' like that,” said Russell Jones with the Tarrant County Health Department. “Older kids won't have it, adults won't have that; they'll just gasp for air.”

It can be deadly in infants. Four children died last year in Texas from whooping cough.

Jones points out that the case of the church is one they're seeing at other churches, as well as schools and summer camps.

Keller ISD says it’s seen 15 cases of pertussis at various campuses since January.

"Last year was a record year for us,” said Jones. “We had 700 cases. It's all over, and it's just wherever people are and they're congregating.”

While infants and kids are usually vaccinated for pertussis in their normal vaccinations, there are booster shots that adults can get, and it's especially recommended for adults in families that have a pertussis case.

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