Whooping Cough On The Rise In Teton County

Dec 25, 2015

Credit William Brawley via Flickr Creative Commons

Teton County has seen a big uptick recently in cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

Health officials have confirmed eight cases in the county this year, which represents one third of those in Wyoming.

Whooping cough is a bacterial disease that’s easily transmitted from person to person. Teton County Public Health Officer Travis Riddell says it’s hard to diagnose and especially dangerous for infants.

“When adults get it, it probably looks a lot like a common cold—and many people don’t go in to see the doctor for it,” says Riddell. “It often would be misdiagnosed as a common cold. The reason people often think of whooping cough in regards to women and children is that in that age group, it really is a much more serious illness.”

Riddell says there seems to be a whooping cough “cluster” right now in Northwest Wyoming.

He says vaccines are the best tool to prevent pertussis, and recommends people check with their doctors to make sure they’re up to date.