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Whooping cough breaks out in county


Five students in Moses Lake schools have whooping cough, and Grant County Health officials have the task of checking out 149 people who have had close contact with the infected five.

The five cases have been confirmed through laboratory tests. The students are from Peninsula Elementary and Chief Moses Middle School, the health department reported

“We are responding to a cluster of whooping cough cases among students in Moses Lake. Because of a large number of exposed and ill individuals in a very well-defined area, we are considering this a local outbreak,” stated Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County health official.

Health officials said that more cases are likely.

“Preventing severe disease and death in infants is our highest priority. We urge all pregnant women to get vaccinated and urge parents to vaccinate infants and children if they are not up to date,” Dr. Brzezny continued.

In an effort to control the spread of the disease, the Grant County Health District has recommended antibiotics for a defined number of individuals who have come in close contact with the ill students and for some families.

A pertussis (Tdap) shot is recommended for all who are not up to date. The vaccine reduces the chance that a person will become sick with whooping cough.

A typical case of pertussis starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes ends with a whooping sound.

Health officials stated that whooping cough is a vaccine preventable disease.

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