BOZEMAN – The number of whooping cough cases across the state is on the rise and that includes in Gallatin County.
Gallatin City-County Health Department officers say in the county, 41 cases have already been reported this year.
And 15 within just the last week.
Across the state of Montana, health officials have recorded over 260 people suffering from pertussis, overall — which is almost double since this date last year.
Officials in Bozeman add that clusters have been reported in various school districts, including Mount Ellis Academy and Montana State University.
GCC Health Department officer Matt Kelley says the number reported may be climbing due to the fact that awareness is rising and the best way to stop it: protection through prevention.
“The way that we protect the people who are at the greatest risk is by making sure that we are taking a careful approach, identifying those who do have the disease, making sure they are treated so they are less likely to transmit the disease and really kind of creating a cocoon around those people who are vulnerable,” Kelley says.
Kelley says spending a lot of time around those who have whooping cough is the easiest way to catch it.
Pregnant women, unvaccinated babies and those suffering from pulmonary diseases could be at the most risk.