GREAT BEND, Kansas – The whooping cough outbreak in Barton County is growing.
The Barton County community has more than five confirmed cases, although officials say they don’t yet have a solid number about just how many more they’re dealing with, but one person has died.
“I need to get him up to date and I’m going to try and do that today,” said Miki Klein.
Klein is getting vaccinated against whooping cough to protect her kids and is making sure they get updated too.
“So we don’t get sick, it’s scary, I don’t want anything to get to my other kids either,” said Klein.
The Barton County Health Department said the threat is serious as there are now more than five confirmed cases of whooping cough in the county.
The exact number of new cases is not being released yet, but they are working to determine how many of the cases are probable or confirmed numbers.
“It’s very important I feel like all kids should get all their vaccinations and be up to date,” said Klein.
As awareness of the outbreak spreads, hundreds of people have lined up to get free vaccinations.
“Today we’ve had increased people come yet, we’ve had well over 650-700 TDaP’s which is really a good response to this outbreak, we’re hoping to get more,” said Shelly Schneider the Director of the Barton County Health Department.
With the high demand for vaccines and because the county is still in an outbreak the health department will be offering free vaccines to anyone nineteen or older until the outbreak is over.
“We’re going to take tomorrow off and see how our supply is for Monday, and we’re ordering more vaccines in,” said Schneider.
Hoping that more parents, like Miki, will do the right thing. Making sure whole family gets vaccinated, in order to keep the community safe.
“I talked to my mom about it and she’s going to come down here and get hers too,” said Klein.
The Barton County Health Department will not be open this weekend for the free vaccines, but they’ll start back up on Monday.
The number of cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, statewide since 2002 are listed below by year. It is important to note that the case counts from 2002 – 2011 include only confirmed cases.
*Since 2012, case counts have included both confirmed and probable cases.