Grant County has 12 whooping cough cases

MOSES LAKE -- Grant County's health officer has declared a whooping cough outbreak with 12 confirmed cases, including at least one infant death.

The first case of whooping cough, or pertussis, in the county was reported Aug. 23, and public health staff continue to look into new cases in residents, said Dr. Alexander Brzezny.

"This demonstrates that Grant County has an ongoing presence of pertussis beyond just clusters and we must be prepared to see more cases in the future," Brzezny said in a news release.

"If visiting your medical provider to get your flu shot, check to make sure you are fully immunized for pertussis."

An infant who was being treated at Seattle Children's Hospital died Aug. 24, Grant County's first whooping cough death this year.

Grant County had two confirmed cases of whooping cough at this time in 2009.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria.