Whooping cough cases found in Mesa County

Three Caprock Academy students were diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, in mid-October.

The bacterial upper-respiratory infection is highly contagious. The three cases prompted the school to send a letter to parents telling them about the diagnoses, and the school cleaned classrooms thoroughly at night after the diagnoses were made, according to Caprock Headmaster Kristin Trezise.

“Hopefully it’s behind us,” she said.

The Mesa County Health Department confirmed two cases of pertussis in the past month, according to department spokeswoman Karen Martsolf, who said both children attend Caprock.

No cases of pertussis have been reported in School District 51 this school year, according to District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee.

Early symptoms of pertussis include runny nose, a mild cough, low-grade fever and, for infants, pauses in breathing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After two weeks of infection, symptoms can grow to include exhaustion, vomiting and fits of several, rapid coughs that make a “whoop” sound.


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