12:17pm

Thu April 25, 2013
Health

Whooping Cough Spreads In Boulder And Weld Counties

Local health officials say the outbreak is the worst in 20 years. Boulder County has issued a health warning after recording 61 confirmed cases of whooping cough.

Pertussis or whooping cough is highly contagious and is spread when someone infected coughs or sneezes or shares food and drinks with others. The disease is making the rounds in area schools.

Boulder sent warnings to 25 K-12 schools and 6 preschools this year.

In Weld County, 15 schools have reported cases of whooping cough. In total, 38 cases have been confirmed.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. The first signs are often cold-like symptoms with the cough becoming more severe. Health officials say the best way to prevent whooping cough is through vaccination.

Officials with the state department of public health say they continue to see above average weekly case counts of whooping cough, including local clusters of illness, but numbers are down from the peak several months ago.