HUTCHINSON, Kansas (AP) – Reno County health officials are dealing with a whooping cough outbreak that includes 23 suspected cases of the illness.
Health officials are asking sick people to stay home and for health providers to relay information on suspected cases of whooping cough, which is characterized by intense coughing, fever and runny nose.
The health department says the county reported 3 suspected cases in mid-May, 18 in early June and 23 as of Monday.
Ivonne Rivera-Newberry, the department’s assistant director of clinical services, says people may not be taking the illness as seriously as they should. Whooping cough can be especially difficult for infants, the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.
She says vaccination rates overall are down and may be playing into the recent outbreak.