HELENA, Montana — The state health department says an unusually high number of whooping cough cases continue to be reported in Montana.
The Department of Public Health and Human Services says more than 265 cases have been reported since the beginning of the year, with the vast majority among school-aged children.
DPHHS has determined that many of the cases occurred in children who were not up-to-date on their vaccinations against pertussis, or whooping cough. Only 19 percent of students ages 11-12 had received the recommended booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis prior to becoming ill.
Flathead County had 79 cases of whooping cough by the end of March while Lewis and Clark County had reported 36.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that can lead to uncontrollable coughing.