Pertussis (whooping cough) Identified in Montrose County

MONTROSE, CO: Montrose Memorial Hospital in cooperation with Montrose County Health and Human Services have identified patients in Montrose County who have tested positive for Pertussis.  Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a contagious illness that spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs and another person breathes in the bacteria.  According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website, pertussis can occur at any age and may be very severe in infants and young children, especially those who have not had three doses of pertussis vaccines.

Symptoms of pertussis usually appear between 7 to 10 days after exposure and start with cold-type symptoms, including; low-grade fever, runny nose and mild cough.  Within two weeks, the cough becomes more severe and is characterized by episodes of fits of coughing.

Pertussis is spread through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.  A person can only transmit the disease when they have symptoms.  If you think you have pertussis, you should contact your medical care provider who can prescribe an appropriate antibiotic when needed.

The best protection from pertussis is getting vaccinated.  Also, stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing when possible.  If you are ill, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands often.  To schedule an appointment for a vaccination, please contact Montrose County Health and Human Services Immunization Department at 970-252-7079 or visit  For more detailed information go to or speak to your care provider.


About Montrose Memorial Hospital (

Montrose Memorial Hospital is a 501(c)3 nonprofit healthcare system serving Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, Delta, Hinsdale and San Juan counties. The health system offers a 75-bed hospital and an extensive range of inpatient & outpatient health care services, including cardiology, oncology, minimally invasive surgery, laboratory, medical imaging/radiology, Mountain View Therapy, Level III Trauma Center, Acute Rehabilitation Unit and the family birthing center. The health system partners with regional providers on joint ventures to meet local healthcare needs, including CareFlight air ambulance service, San Juan Cancer Center and Black Canyon Surgical Center. Montrose Memorial is the second-largest employer in Montrose County, with more than 700 employees and 100 physicians who represent 23 medical specialties. The hospital has received patient satisfaction ratings exceeding 90% since 2010.