Posted: Aug 30, 2013 10:09 PM by MTN News
Areas across Montana are still reporting cases of the whooping cough.
During a health board meeting earlier this month, it was revealed that 225 cases of pertussis were reported between June of 2012 and May of this year. That's an average of nearly 19 cases a month. In June, 25 more cases were reported.
Data for the month of August was not made available in that report, but the Flathead City-County Health Department tells us they are still confirming cases of pertussis in the Flathead.
The Butte - Silver Bow Health Department is also dealing with an outbreak of whooping cough.
According to health officials so far this year there have been 27 cases of pertussis. Last year there were only two. Anaconda Deer Lodge County is also seeing a huge increase. 36 diagnosed cases already this year. Last year there was just one.
As students return to school Health officials are concerned that the respiratory disease could spread more rapidly since students are in close contact with each other.
Whooping cough symptoms include runny nose, mild fever and a persistent cough that doesn't seem to go away.
"As a child you need five Tdap vaccines, and they don't start until the ages of two months. Then your last booster dose should be between four and six- years-old. Children get one going into seventh grade, as an adolescent dose. Most adults don't realize that they need a Tdap vaccine to be protected," said Karen Maloughney, Butte-Silver Bow Public Health Nurse.
The Butte Silver-Bow Health Department is offering a pertussis clinic where residents can walk in and get vaccinated. The event is next Wednesday and Thursday.