Whooping cough cases on the rise in recent years
The El Paso County Health Department is warning that cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, in Colorado are on the rise in recent years.
Whooping cough is an upper respiratory infection. The illness starts off with cold-like symptoms like a runny nose and sore throat, then it progresses to a persistent cough.
"The reason they call it 'whooping cough' is sometimes in between coughing spells, people breathe in and it sound like a whoop," said Shannon Rowe, Communicable Disease Program manager for the El Paso County Public Health Department.
Rowe said that the disease can be most harmful to infants. She recommends that anyone who may spend time around a young child be immunized.
"Vaccine is our No. 1 protection against whooping cough," Rowe said.
There have been 78 reported cases of whooping cough in El Paso County so far this year. There have been 35 reported cases in Pueblo County. A spokesperson with the Pueblo City-County Health Department told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that the numbers are just the tip of the iceberg because many cases are unreported or misdiagnosed.
Pertussis vaccinations can be found at your doctor's office or pharmacy. It is known as the "TDAP" vaccine and protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
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