Whooping Cough Cases Confirmed in Door County

• Eight whooping cough cases have been confirmed in Southern Door County; free vaccines are available from the Door County Public Health Department. Public health nurse Nancy Stults said the cases have all been individuals 2 to 15 years old.

“I think they tend to be more mild cases because all of these cases are immunized,” Stults said. “I think what’s happening is that they’re having milder symptoms so they’re probably going undiagnosed because people are thinking it’s a typical cold.”

Whooping Cough is a contagious respiratory disease spread by the pertussis bacteria. It can affect everyone, but is most dangerous for infants and small children.

Symptoms of mild pertussis cases usually look like a cold – runny nose, a low fever and cough. The most obvious pertussis symptom is cough that can last for weeks. If someone has had a cough for more than 10 days, Stults recommends seeing a physician for diagnosis and treatment.

“What we’re concerned about would be spreading it to persons that are unimmunized or young infants or elderly who are a little immune suppressed,” Stults said. “That’s where the concern is, because the kids can have a mild case but not be diagnosed, yet, still transmit it to vulnerable populations.”

Children get five rounds of immunization shots – at two months, four months, six months, 15 months and when they start school. They’re more vulnerable to contracting the disease when they’ve had fewer immunizations.

“It affects the respiratory system. It can be difficult for an infant to get rid of the phlegm and that kind of thing, so they can develop complications from the pertussis,” Stults said. “It’s awful to see infants with this disease.”

Stults said the Southern Door community should be aware of symptoms and be ready to head to the physician for a lingering cough.

“Even though kids might just have a slight cold they need to continue to wash their hands really well and avoid crowds and avoid staying overnight at people’s houses at this particular time,” she said. “It’s going to be spread through that close contact.”

For more information and for vaccine information (free regardless of insurance status), call the Door County Public Health Department at 920.746.2234.

• Last week Door County District Attorney Ray Pelrine issued a decision not to issue criminal charges against James and Carole Maronek for committing voter fraud at the Nov. 18 Liberty Grove budget meeting. Wisconsin law requires a 28-day residency requirement, which town officials challenged in the case of the Maroneks. In announcing the decision Lisa A. Mraz, coordinator of the Victim/Witness Association Program, wrote that Pelrine reviewed the information provided by town officials and determined there was “no evidence of intentional voter fraud.” She added, “While District Attorney Pelrine cannot conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that such conduct was intentional and violated the law, he has notified the Maroneks that from this point forward future reports of violations may not reach the same conclusion.”

• Darcie Pilz has been chosen as the new community coordinator of Door County North. In a message to members of the organization, Door County North President Thor Thoreson wrote that four applicants were recently interviewed for the position. “The decision was very difficult, indeed, but we came to a decision that we’re all very excited about.” Pilz and her husband recently moved to Door County from the Chicago area. “She brings experience in marketing and sales, and we, the board, all feel she has all the right skills and energies to provide us with the leadership we’re looking for.”