Whidbey baby hospitalized for whooping cough

A 5-week-old male infant was sent to Children's Hospital in Seattle Saturday; the first case of a child hospitalized for pertussis, commonly called whooping cough.

The baby exhibited increased coughing, was having a hard time breathing and was turning blue last week, said Freeland pediatrician Robert Wagner

"This baby is in our risk population," Wagner said. "Though the incidence of new cases seems to be decreasing, parents of very young children need to be watchful."

Wagner said the problem has been compounded by the relatively high number of new births in Island County this summer.

Wagner has been working with public school districts and Island County health officials on a plan to make sure children are protected by the time South Whidbey schools open Sept. 4.

All cases of pertussis should be reported to the Island County Health Department immediately at 360-679-7350.

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