Health Department Reports New Whooping Cough Cases

By Beacon Staff

The Flathead City-County Health Department reported four additional cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, on Tuesday, bringing the number of cases found in the county over the last week to 25. The newest cases involved fifth-graders at two rural schools.

Since last Wednesday, numerous cases of whooping cough have been reported and now involve eight school systems in Flathead County.

County officials are urging people who have had a persistent cough for more than a week to seek medical attention. Symptoms usually appear five to 10 days after exposure, but can take as long as 21 days. Symptoms are similar to that of the common cold but can get worse and lead to coughing spells that end in vomiting. Those who have those symptoms are encouraged to stay home from school and work.

Whooping cough can be prevented with a Bordetella pertussis vaccine. If someone is being treated for whooping cough, it’s also recommended that the people who they come in contact the most – be it roommates or classmates – also be treated. For more information call (406) 751-8110.

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