Posted: Aug 29, 2012 3:10 PM by irina Cates - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 30, 2012 10:05 AM
MISSOULA - Kids are back to school, and the health department says so is the increased risk of coming down with whooping cough.
The Missoula City-County Health Department says while the outbreak has slowed down, we still have pertussis in the community in many age groups.
Health professionals are concerned about the risk of the infection spreading as children begin to socialize in close quarters. The health department is working with the schools and local health providers to make sure they can quickly respond to pertussis cases.
Health officials also say up-to-date immunization and good hygiene are key in preventing whooping cough.
"Making sure that everyone is washing their hands, covering their cough, seeking the attention of a health care provider if they have a cough, whether it's a mild or severe cough lasting longer than one week, it's definitely important to get that evaluation by your health care provider," the health department's Cindy Hotchkiss said.
Missoula County has had 22 diagnosed whooping cough cases since May.