Whooping cough continues to spread through Kittitas County - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Whooping cough continues to spread through Kittitas County

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KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash.-- Whooping cough has reached epidemic levels in Washington state this year, and another case was confirmed in Kittitas County this week. 

This latest case was diagnosed in a student at Cle Elum Roslyn Elementary School, the second such case in that school this year.

That means there are now 11 confirmed cases of pertussis in the county, with 17 other probable cases.

Earlier this month, there had been over 1,400 cases statewide, compared to just 134 last year.

Locally, Kittitas County has seen some of the highest numbers.

Health department officials say the outbreak is a result of several different factors but say they don't have the resources to actively fight it.

"We're pretty short staffed and our resources are extremely limited. What we have done is worked with our community partners to insure that vaccine is available, both for people who have insurance and people who don't," said Robin Read with the Kittitas County Public Health Department.

Read says it's important for adults get vaccinated, not just kids, since some adults can get the disease without showing severe symptoms, and then pass it on to children without even knowing.

To find out how you can get a pertussis vaccination for free, contact the Kittitas County Public Health Department.

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