Posted: Jan 23, 2013 6:31 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
ANACONDA-Anaconda Deer Lodge Health Department staff has contacted over 100 people to warn that they may have been exposed to Pertussis, or Whooping Cough.
So far there have been 4 confirmed cases of the illness.
The Anaconda Deer Lodge Public Health Director Heidi Nielsen says it takes a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of work on each confirmed Pertussis case.
"Our 4th case we're going through those close contacts now and there's at least 20 plus family members so it will be a while. I don't think we're close to being done," says Nielsen.
She adds that some of the cases are related. "Some of them overlap and some of them don't. We haven't been able to identify the index case at this point. The point of entry or where it actually came from."
Pertussis has been confirmed in students ages 12 through 15 since January 14th.
It's a serious illness that can cause death in infants and the elderly.
A 5 day prophylactic antibiotic will be requested if you've come into contact with an infected person.
Pertussis can incubate in your body for 21 days and show no symptoms.
Luckily the illness is not getting out of control in Anaconda schools.
"It's been a little bit of a disruption. We haven't had to exclude any children from school as far as those who are not immunized," says Nielsen
If you test positive you should stay home and receive antibiotics to prevent further exposure.
Students will be sent home with a Pertussis fact sheet for parents soon.