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The number of new cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, in Van Buren County has slowed, according to Dr. Gary Wheeler with the Arkansas Department of Health. He said Tuesday afternoon that new cases are still expected to be reported, but at a lower level.

Wheeler said what is occurring in Van Buren County is emblematic of what’s happening throughout the rest of the country. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have discovered that the current pertussis vaccine is not as long-lasting as it had been thought, and now intermediate-age school children across the nation are coming down with the ailment.

Wheeler said the Health Department is continuing to monitor the situation in the Clinton School District and the county. He said similar problems are expected in other parts of the state.

Meanwhile, the Clinton School District sent home letters to parents of students who have not been inoculated and are therefore not allowed to attend school, under orders of the Health Department. The letter outlined plans to keep those students current on homework and ready to take semester tests at an off-campus site.


Congressman Tim Griffin has announced that members of his staff will host a series of mobile office hours throughout the month of December.

The mobile office will be in Clinton at the Senior Center, 311 Yellowjacket Lane, from 10-11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7. It will be in Fairfield Bay at Jacks Food and Fuel from noon-1:30 p.m. Dec. 7.


Teachers, remember to get those Letters to Santa to the Democrat by e-mail (, mail, P.O. Box 119, Clinton AR 72031, or dropped off at our downtown Clinton office by Friday, Dec. 7.

The Van Buren County Democrat website is available only to print and digital subscribers. If you are already a subscriber, you can access the website at no additional charge.