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New pertussis cases confirmed in Flathead

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Nov 12 2012 10:12:59 PM MST
Updated On: Nov 12 2012 10:37:42 PM MST

KALISPELL, Mont. -

 Flathead City-County Health Department staff confirmed two new cases of pertussis among Flathead students. One case was confirmed at Bigfork High School, while the other was confirmed at Glacier High School.

Glacier staff sent out a notification email Monday morning. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases to 31 in the Flathead since the beginning of October.

The health department was closed Monday, but staff expected a slate of tests to start up on Tuesday. Officials say vaccination shots are the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.

Community Health Services Director Jody White says the current outbreak is part of a nationwide trend.

“It’s not uncommon to see an increase but it is unusual to have to have two outbreaks of this nature so close together in a community, so we’re just working very hard and ask the public to please bear with us and work with us if you’re identified as a contact to a case.”