(Host) The Vermont Health Department says the number of cases of whooping cough is continuing to go up in the state.
In the last six weeks, there have been 26 confirmed cases of whooping cough, known formally as pertussis. There have been 47 cases this year.
Suspected or confirmed cases have been reported or are under investigation in 11 Chittenden County schools.
There is a vaccine against pertussis, but, on occasion, people can still get sick. The illness is treated with antibiotics.
Pertussis is highly contagious. The infection usually begins with an irritating cough that worsens to include spasms of coughing, and possibly whooping.
Serious complications are most common among children under age 1, and it can be fatal.
People with suspected or confirmed cases should be kept out of school, work, and group activities.