JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – We are heading into cold and flu season and there have been more than a thousand cases of whooping cough so far this year. Health officials say it’s a problem that has been on the rise in Colorado for the past few years.
“We’ve had an epidemic for the last two years in Colorado,” said Kyle Brown, a registered nurse for Jefferson County Public Health.
“We’ve had 231 cases since Jan. 1. At this time last year we’ve had approximately 186,” said Brown.
This year in the first half of October there were 47 cases, with the number more than doubling to 102 in the second half.
Kids back in school along with colder weather that keeps people inside contributes to the spike in cases. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is highly contagious and is spread through droplets. Some call whooping cough the cough of 100 days.
“You can cough till you actually pass out. Younger children can have seizures, brain swelling and other very severe complications including death,” said Brown.
Health officials agree that vaccination is the best protection against pertussis.