MISSOULA – Local health officials report that the number of pertussis cases in the Missoula area has once again jumped.
The Missoula City-County Health Department has now logged 47 confirmed whooping cough cases, up from 39 reported on Friday.
Pertussis cases have been confirmed in several Missoula County Public Schools — including Big Sky, Hellgate and Sentinel high schools.
A new whooping cough case was reported by Frenchtown School District officials on Thursday.
Previous pertussis cases have also been reported in the Lolo and Florence school districts.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a type of bacteria. It can affect people of all ages but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.
Pertussis symptoms can appear differently and be less severe in vaccinated individuals, but can still be contagious.