May 25, 2012 in City

In brief: County still seeing new pertussis cases

From Staff Reports

Whooping cough continues to sicken people in Spokane County. So far in May there have been 16 new cases of the disease, also called pertussis, diagnosed here. For the year, there have been 47 cases.

No one has died, though three infants, two children and one adult have been hospitalized in the county, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

Pertussis has been declared an epidemic in Washington. Spread by coughing and sneezing, pertussis has infected 1,738 people across Washington since the start of the year. That compares with 148 cases during the same time period last year.

The disease may be prevented with vaccines.

State health officials recommend that children younger than 7 receive a series of five DTaP vaccines. Children ages 7 to 10 who have not received the full range of vaccines, and everyone 11 and older, should get a whooping cough booster shot called Tdap.

Mark Springer, an epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District, said the cases are spread across Spokane County rather than clustered in certain schools, churches or other communities.

He said he expects the volume of new cases to be steady for the next several weeks as parents and others evaluate whether their children may be infected with pertussis or simply have a lingering, unrelated cough. With school poised to let out soon for the summer, the number of cases could drop.

Pertussis can be treated with antibiotics.

John Stucke

The winning ticket sold for Wednesday night’s $11 million Lotto jackpot in the Washington lottery was purchased in Chewelah, north of Spokane.

The winning numbers were: 9-14-17-27-35-43.

While modest by the standards of some multistate lotteries, the $11 million Lotto was a big one for Washington. Lottery representative Arlen Harris said the jackpot had been growing for the past six months, since a $2.8 million win last November.

Lotto jackpots start at $1 million and continue growing until someone wins.

Saturday’s Lotto will be worth $1 million.

Customers have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim their prizes. This player has until Nov. 19 to claim the jackpot.

Staff report

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