24 Confirmed Cases of Whooping Cough in Kittitas County - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

24 Confirmed Cases of Whooping Cough in Kittitas County

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YAKIMA, Wash.- There are now 24 reported cases of the Whopping Cough, or Pertussis, in Kittitas County. Whooping cough is highly contagious and could last up to 100 days.

Most of the people who tested positive didn't know they had the whooping cough.  Employees at the Health Department in Kittitas County have been calling everyone that was in close contact to the people infected. Over 150 people have now been tested. Almost all of those tests have come back negative, but neighbors in Kittitas County are still being cautious.

"It does spread anywhere. I'm afraid to go to the grocery store, not afraid but it does raise concern when you touch things and breathe air that other have also," said Michelle Atherton, who lives in Kittitas County.

The Health Department's Administrator said the beginning symptoms look like a regular cold: a runny nose, sneezing, a fever, mild coughing. Then the coughing gets worse.

Health Department employees suggest anyone with these symptoms contact their physician just to be on the safe side. Employees said the infection hasn't been contained yet but the number of new people infected is slowing down.