whooping cough

Sanofi Pasteur, flickr Creative Commons

Health officials in Reno County are trying to bring an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, under control. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

The outbreak began in mid-May with three cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease. Now there are 23 reported cases, according to the Reno County Health Department, in Hutchinson. As of June 2, 134 cases of pertussis had been reported in Kansas this year.

Sanofi Pasteur, flickr Creative Commons

A south-central Kansas county is investigating its first case of whooping cough in a decade.

Kingman County officials say a student at Kingman High School came down with the illness on March 27. The student currently is being treated at home.

The Hutchinson News reports 25 to 30 people who were in close contact with the teenager are being treated with an antibiotic.

Kingman County Health Department spokeswoman Mary Schwartz says those people will be tracked for 21 days. The department also is working closely with the school to watch for more cases.

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.

Sedgwick County health officials are reporting an unusually high number of cases of whooping cough this year.

The county health department says it's received 27 reported cases of the illness so far this month.

That's more than in any month in the past five years.

Whooping cough - also known as pertussis - is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It's highly contagious and causes violent, rapid coughing.

Health officials say babies are especially at risk because they're too young to be vaccinated.

KDHE Says Whooping Cough Cases On The Rise In Kansas

Jun 13, 2012

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.