Health officials in Missoula County report experiencing a pertussis, or whooping cough outbreak affecting a number of local schools.
To date, 96 cases lab-confirmed cases have been reported.
The Health Department is working closely with schools to identify close contacts of confirmed cases. To date, nearly 2000 close contacts have been identified. They say if you have not been contacted by the Health Department, and you (or your child) are not symptomatic, no action is needed at this time. The Health Department will contact you with instructions if you need to take action or will send information home with your child.
The outbreak has grown to the point that the Missoula County Health Department is immediately hiring nurses to assist in the outbreak.
Pertussis is a respiratory disease that is diagnosed using a laboratory test and is treated with antibiotics.
Some people are at higher risk for complications from pertussis, including: Infants 12 months or age and younger, people with underlying respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, people whose immune systems are compromised and pregnant women.
The best protection is immunization. Check that you are up to date on your pertussis vaccine (DTaP & Tdap).
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