Public Health Officials in Pueblo say there is one pertussis (whooping cough) case in Pueblo County.
Jennifer Grove's 11-year-old son Cooper tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory disease at the end of July.
"I thought initially that he had a cold," said Grove.
Doctors initially diagnosed Cooper with a respiratory infection. But even with antibiotics, the cough continually got worse.
"He coughed really hard, and his lips started to turn blue," said Grove.
Grove immediately took her son to the hospital, where he was tested for pertussis. The results came back positive, which surprised Grove.
"He's always been vaccinated, he's always had his immunizations, always up to date," said Grove.
According to Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods, the Public Health Director for the Pueblo City- County Health Department, children need to get re-vaccinated for pertussis after they turn 11.
"Over time, after about age 7, that immunity wanes," said Dr. Nevin-Woods.
Grove's son Cooper just turned 11 in May, and was already scheduled to get his shots next month.
While this is the only confirmed case, Pueblo health officials say there are several other suspected cases. The Health Department is investigating the possible spread of illness to additional people.
Director of the Disease Prevention and Emergency Preparedness Division, Jody Carrillo, said “Parents are urged to make sure their child is up to date with their childhood vaccines. This is a highly contagious disease.”
The department says adults should also be vaccinated. They say research shows that half of the babies infected with pertussis are exposed by their parents, while 90% of non-vaccinated children living with someone who has the disease can become infected.
Vaccinations are available through doctors or by calling the Health Department clinic at 719-583-4380.
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