FORT COLLINS - A Blevins Middle School student diagnosed with pertussis in late December may have passed his infection onto others before classes were dismissed for winter break, Principal David Linehan told parents Wednesday in an email.
The student was treated with antibiotics during the break to stop further spread of the highly contagious respiratory infection, also known as whooping cough. Since 2012, the state, including Larimer County, has experienced an outbreak of the bacterial illness.
Most-current state health department data show there were 1,395 confirmed cases of pertussis in 2013, down from 1,505 in 2012 also the worst season for the disease in six decades. Boulder and Jefferson counties were among the hardest-hit.
Larimer County confirmed cases numbered 80 in 2012 and 83 in 2013; there have been no reported cases so far in 2014, Larimer County health department spokeswoman Jane Viste said.
There are likely more cases than are reported. Not all cases are tested for lab confirmation, and not all patients are seen by physicians.
Health officials urge community members of all ages to get vaccinated against the illness.
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