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Whooping Cough Outbreak Persists In Reno County

Sanofi Pasteur, flickr Creative Commons

Officials with the Reno County Health Department say an outbreak of pertussis, often called whooping cough, is still active.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there have been 41 confirmed cases of whooping cough in Reno County so far this year. Nick Baldetti, director of the county’s health department, says the outbreak began in April at the end of school and has persisted throughout the summer.

"And then we’re continuing with our current outbreak, unfortunately, moving into the back to school time of the year,” he says.

Baldetti says they’re actively investigating 30 more cases of the disease, which is characterized by cold-like symptoms and a violent cough.

Sedgwick County has also seen cases of whooping cough, but far fewer when compared to the overall population.

Pertussis is extremely contagious and can be dangerous for small children and those with a suppressed immune system.

Those vaccinated for the disease still have a 10 percent chance of infection, but the Reno County Health Department is asking for residents to check the status of their vaccination and if possible, get a booster shot.