Deschutes County Health Services has identified six confirmed cases of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough. This is an increase from last year where there were only three.
Tom Kuhn, a Community Health Manager at Deschutes County Health Services says they’re looking into what’s causing the larger outbreak this year.
Kuhn: “We don’t have any sources that we’ve identified or any really concrete links to all these cases. There are some cases that are linked but then there are some that are not. So, we really haven’t pinpointed what the cause of this is.”
Kuhn says that the best way to prevent the spread is to get vaccinated with the Tdap vaccine. Those 11 years and younger should get the DTaP.
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Symptoms include a long-lasting, hacking cough that can cause vomiting or even crack ribs. Kuhn says infants, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems are the most vulnerable to Whooping Cough. He recommends adolescents and adults get vaccinated to protect the community.