More cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, are being reported in Weld County and there is concern the outbreak could continue to spread.

Seven Weld County schools are each reporting at least one confirmed case of whooping cough or Pertussis. Two of the schools have five confirmed cases.

"As a general rule of thumb for any diagnosed case, there are about 10 undiagnosed cases," said Eric Aakko of the Weld County Dept. of Public Health and Environment.

The disease starts with cold-like symptoms and progresses over several weeks to severe, violent coughing.Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes a deep “whooping” sound when the patient tries to take a breath.

"We need to get the message out that people need to get the appropriate booster whether they're an adult or a child, because the pertussis vaccine does not provide lifelong protection," said Aakko.

The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment says Weld County averages about four cases per year, but this year has seen 96 diagnosed cases.
Pertussis vaccinations are required as part of students’ vaccinations.

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