GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Those with Mesa County Public Health want to warn you of a local outbreak of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
Getting vaccinated or even washing your hands, can keep you one step ahead of contracting pertussis. However, once the disease is caught, it can spread extremely easily.
"We've had 22 cases of pertussis reported in Mesa County since the beginning of November," said Andy Tyler, Regional Epidemiologist with Mesa County Public Health.
During the same time period last year, Mesa County had just one case of whooping cough.
"A classic sign of pertussis is the whoop. That's the indicator, especially if it's a lot of coughing at night," said Tyler.
Those who've caught the sickness range from all ages. However, there's one group in particular suffering the most.
"We're seeing that the main population is our adolescents," said Tyler.
As a result, those with School District 51 are warning parents to take extra precaution.
"We have two weeks here where kids aren't in school, so school nurses aren't saying, 'Oh maybe you have symptoms of pertussis,'" said Emily Shockley, Public Information Officer with School District 51.
If your child does catch it, it's important to keep them out of school until they fully recover.
By following these simple steps -- you can assure that your child remains healthy for their first day of school in 2018.
For more information about what vaccination is best for you depending on your age, those with Mesa County Public Health say to give them a call at (970) 248-6900.