Whooping Cough Threat Very Real For Mesa County, Young People Affected Most

Flu cases may be on the rise in Colorado, but officials at the Mesa County Health Department say there's a bigger health threat sweeping the Grand Valley. Pertussis, or whooping cough, has been an ongoing problem this season, but now it's spreading and affecting young people.

The bacterial disease first appeared in the Grand Valley in the fall and is characterized by a loud, whoop–like wheeze between spasms. Since October, 140 cases have been reported in Mesa County and the type of patient is becoming a concern.

Health Department Spokesperson Kristy Westerman said it appears the disease is spreading from school-aged children to infants and toddlers. Westerman says washing hands is an effective way to slow the spread of whooping cough, as well as the flu. She said the number of flu cases is on the rise and moving west with Garfield, Pitkin, and Summit Counties reporting flu cases.

If you would like to get a flu shot, call the Mesa County Health Department at 248–6900.

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