whooping cough

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.

Wyoming Department of Health

Wyoming is seeing an increase in cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, according to numbers released by the state Department of Health.

Pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms but then progresses to a violent, uncontrollable cough within a few weeks. So far this year 43 cases have been reported, which is higher than this time in any of the last four years. 

Kim Deti with the Department of Health says the agency is particularly concerned with several cases in and around Gillette.

The Wyoming Department of Health has recorded a sharp increase in cases of pertussis – also known as “Whooping Cough”.

The illness has cold-like symptoms, and after a week or two, infected people usually develop a loud, persistent cough and spasms. Sixty-three cases have been reported this year already, four more than in all of 2012.

Health department spokeswoman Kim Deti says pertussis is most dangerous to babies under a year old. More than half need to be hospitalized if they catch whooping cough, and some die.