Four Missouri whooping cough cases reported

JOPLIN, Mo. | The Jasper County Health Department has confirmed four cases of whooping cough in the area and is investigating four additional cases.

All of the cases were reported in Jasper County in April with the first case confirmed on April 16. The cases have been reported in residents ranging from infants through senior citizen.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly communicable disease that can be severe in young children. It begins with mild upper respiratory tract symptoms and progresses to a cough. It can further progress to severe paroxysms, often with a characteristic "whoop," followed by vomiting.

Among older children and adults, the disease can be mistaken for bronchitis or an upper respiratory infection.

Pertussis outbreaks sometimes last for several months.