Hundreds of Farm Workers Exposed to Whooping Cough in Grant County
The Washington State Department of Health reports 3 confirmed cases, but over 200 have been exposed to pertussis.
Department officials say the affected people are farm workers between Mattawa and Quincy. Grant County officials say no one has been admitted to the hospital, but anti biotics are being provided for those suspected of being exposed.
Pertussis, the formal name for whooping cough, is especially hard on infant and young children and the elderly. Those people in the affected group have been given a Tdap shot, which counters the illness.
It is being considered a local outbreak, because of the direct contact and geographical area of the people affected. Health department officials are working with the farm officials and making sure anyone else who may have been in contact with these migrant workers is also evaluated.
Whooping cough is most commonly spread by being near someone with the illness who coughs and spreads the germs.