GILLETTE (WNE) — A cluster of at least five cases of whooping cough in Campbell County has occurred over the past week and is drawing warnings from the Wyoming Department of Health.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a serious illness for all ages and especially dangerous for infants, said Kim Deti, spokeswoman with the state department. However, it is preventable with vaccinations.
Deti said the cluster of five cases — and she expects there could be more — is a mix of those who have been vaccinated and those who have not. She added that there are some family connections among them.
She didn’t know the age groups of those diagnosed with the illness.
“It’s especially important because people don’t always recognize pertussis,” she said.
Deti said there have been 13 reported cases statewide so far in 2019, compared to one in all of 2018 and none in 2017.
At least one to two babies have been hospitalized in Wyoming this year, she said.
“There is cause for concern and we wanted people to know about it,” she added.
“Increased pertussis activity is something we watch closely because it can be so tough on infants,” said Clay Van Houten, infectious disease epidemology unit manager with the Wyoming Department of Health.
“Campbell County is of specific concern right now. We’ve seen several cases there recently and continue to investigate more suspected cases.”