COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — State health officials say nine children in northern Idaho's Kootenai County have the highly contagious illness pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
Panhandle Health District Epidemiologist Dave Hylsky told The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/tpcHit ) that most of the sick children haven't been immunized against the disease. The children range in age from 3 months to 15 years old, and so far none have been hospitalized.
Pertussis symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, cough and possibly a mild fever. The infection is dangerous for very young children, who can have rapid, violent coughing that makes it difficult to catch their breath.
Health district spokeswoman Cynthia Taggart says the pertussis vaccine is 60 to 80 percent effective. The health district says anyone with symptoms should contact a doctor.
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com