12:46pm

Mon January 6, 2014
Whooping Cough

69 More Whooping Cough Cases Reported In Colorado In Two Weeks

December saw the highest number of pertussis cases reported in 2013.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The middle of December saw the highest number of pertussis or whooping cough cases in 2013.

Sixty nine people diagnosed during a two week period, bringing Colorado's total number of reported cases to 1,395. Middle and high school students are especially susceptible.

Mark Wallace is Executive Director of the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment. He says even if kids got the recommended shot in middle school, their protection is waning.

“We have the best protection right at the peak of our series and then it begins to go down so there is a real push to say if you haven’t had one, there in your high school years to really think about getting out and getting that boosted up,” Wallace said.

Total Pertussis Cases in Northern Colorado as of 12/14/13

  • Boulder County: 201
  • Weld County: 96
  • Larimer County: 81

Wallace says parents and grandparents of young children should also get vaccinated since they could pass along an infection. Jefferson County has the highest number of pertussis cases at 230 identified.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Because pertussis in its early stages appears to be nothing more than the common cold, it is often not suspected or diagnosed until the more severe symptoms appear. Infected people are most contagious up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Antibiotics may shorten the amount of time someone is contagious.

This is how pertussis progresses if left untreated.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention