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Child Dies From Whooping Cough In Forsyth County

State health officials say a child has died of whooping cough in Forsyth County.

Gurnal Scott: The child was only two months old. It's not clear how the child contracted the disease also known a pertussis, but it does shine a light on the fact that it can happen.

Dr. Laura Gerald: If you're even around a child who is under 12 months of age, you should be vaccinated.

Dr. Laura Gerald is the state health director. She says doctors are seeing hundreds of whooping cough cases across North Carolina. Many times, parents don't know their child has it because it seems like a common cold.

Dr. Laura Gerald: One thing that distinguishes the whooping cough is that it tends to last much longer that you would expect..weeks in fact it can last. And sometimes..not always..but sometimes you get that characteristic whooping sound that many people report in clinic.

Gerald says you can get the vaccine free at local health departments. It's required by law for school-age children.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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