Whidbey Island largely dodges pertussis scare

The number of pertussis cases throughout Washington State have reached epidemic levels, but so far Whidbey Island appears to have been spared, Island County health officials reported.

The number of pertussis cases throughout Washington State have reached epidemic levels, but so far Whidbey Island appears to have been spared, Island County health officials reported.

“It’s epidemic in the state and the majority are in Snohomish County,” said Roger Case, Island County health officer.

“We’ve actually had fewer cases than normal,” he said.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that usually starts with cold-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Within one to two weeks, however, symptoms increase to severe, even violent and rapid coughing fits.

The state Department of Health monitors pertussis cases in every county and has been providing weekly updates. As of April 21, 1,008 cases have been recorded statewide this year.

That compares to just 110 cases documented during the same period in 2011.

Counties being hit the hardest include Snohomish County with 201 cases, Skagit County with 199, Pierce County with 131 and King County with 114.

Most counties have between one and 50 cases and 12 counties have none whatsoever.

Although the state is reporting just 16 cases in Island County, Case said the number may actually be less, saying that he only knows of about eight. He warned that people still need to be careful and get checked out if they have a cough that lasts longer than one week.

“They call it a childhood disease but it affects everyone,” Case said.

Of the total 1,009 cases, 828 of those afflicted have been 18 or younger with the remaining 180 patients aged 19 or older. Case urged anyone who has not yet received a DTaP vaccination to receive the immunization.

More in News

Left to right: Eva Wirth, Emma Callahan, Chloe Goethel, Macie Vande Werfhorst, Naomi Atwood, Gabe Gandarias, Maddox Smith-Heacox & Max Rodriguez. Not pictured: Emmett Layman, Zander Kuschnerei and coach Clyde Monma.
SW Middle School Math Teams Capture 5 Medals

South Whidbey Middle School entered five teams in the Washington State Math… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth nurses trained to assess victims of sexual assault are left to right: Jackie Blankenship, Rebecca Pina, program manager Jackie Bassett, Jacqueline Moore and Sherry Phay. Cynde Robinson, director of Coalition against Domestic Violence, is in the back row. Team member nurses Krista Burckhardt, Gayle Wallen and Tonya DeYoung were unavailable for the photo.
Sexual assault victims can be assessed locally

WhidbeyHealth trains specialty nurse team

Aurora Coffey
South Whidbey High School student wins AAUW prize

South Whidbey High School student, Aurora Coffey, won First Place and a… Continue reading

Town talk pinpoints people and paths

Langley takes step in mapping trails

Langley Police Chief David Marks
Prosecutor declines to charge chief

The Island County prosecutor declined to charge Langley Police Chief David Marks… Continue reading

Island County looks at building air park road

Island County will apply for a grant to study the potential of… Continue reading

Photo provided 
                                Left to right: Grace Callahan, Carli Newman, Oliana Stang, Sean Miles, Magnus Nyberg, Max Rodriguez, Aidan O’Brien, Annika Hustad (Not pictured: Coach Clyde Monma)
SW High School math teams place 1st in state

Three South Whidbey High School math teams earned a trip to the… Continue reading

Tourism tax committee members needed

Langley council forming advisory group

Loose goats found, owner wanted

A South Whidbey woman is trying to find the owner of a… Continue reading

Most Read