Here's something no one is whooping it up about. Mesa County is seeing a significant increase in the number of people infected with the bacteria that causes whooping cough.

Mesa County Public Health reports that as of July 26 there have been 23 confirmed cases of whooping cough, (pertussis), in 2018 which equals the total number of cases in all of 2017.

The report also found the last two years have seen a significant increase in pertussis infection when compared to the four previous years.

Symptoms of pertussis include coughing fits with a high pitched 'whoop' sound, vomiting after coughing, and exhaustion. The illness can last up to two months and can be fatal for infants and young children.

The most alarming thing about pertussis is the illness is almost completely preventable with proper immunization. Mesa County Public Health has these recommendations for child and adult immunizations.

  • Pregnant women should receive a Tdap dose during the third trimester of pregnancy
  • Babies need DTaP doses at two, four, and six months of age. Another dose should be given between 15 and 18 months.
  • Children need another DTaP dose between the ages of four and six.
  • Children between seven and 10 years of age need a dose of Tdap if they've never been immunized.
  • Children between the ages of 11 and 12 should have a Tdap dose.
  • Adults need one dose of Tdap if they did not receive a dose during adolescence.

Mesa County Public Health is hosting walk-in Back to School Immunization Clinics on August 4 from 8:00 a.m. until Noon and on August 8 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at their facility located at 510 29&frac12 Road in Grand Junction. Other appointments for immunizations can be made by calling MCPH at 970-248-6900.