Pottawatomie County in northeast Kansas is seeing an outbreak of whooping cough cases.
All schools within the Wamego School District have had free vaccination clinics for staff members. A clinic for students was held Wednesday at West Elementary, the hardest hit school in the district Pottawatomie County has had 17 confirmed cases reported. Last year, the county had just one case.
The state has 172 confirmed cases so far this year, compared to 405 cases in all of 2013.
Kansas has had more cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, in the first half of this year than in all of last year. Health officials have confirmed 56 cases. Charlie Hunt is with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
It’s not something that’s in the environment, so it’s person-to-person transmission,” Hunt says. “It’s trying to survive, just like the rest of us, I suppose.”
Hunt says the highly contagious disease comes in cycles.
“I think that we’re in a cycle right now, with pertussis, where we’re just going to be seeing an increase,” Hunt says.