Flathead County health officials are inundated with the onslaught of whooping cough tests. Six new cases have been confirmed in the county, bringing the total to 36. Four of those confirmed today are in the same class as a child diagnoses on Tuesday.
Right now, whooping cough is in nine schools in the Flathead. County health officials say the labs are packed with cultures waiting to be tested. School administrators we spoke with had plenty of praise for the health department.
"The health department has been great. We spoke back and forth probably about three or four times yesterday with them and they've been full of all kinds of helpful information," said Dr. Ann Mincklers, superintendent of Helena Flats School. "Their directions have been clear and straightforward. We really depend on them but we've never been through anything like this before so we appreciate all the help that they've given us."
Worldwide, there are 30 to 50 million case of pertussis and about 300,000 deaths happen per year because of the disease.