The health department in Grand Traverse County reports as of November 26 there were 37 confirmed cases of Pertussis in the county. School districts affected by the outbreak are Traverse City Area Public Schools, Kingsley Area Schools, Elk Rapids Schools, The Children’s House and for-profit charter school Grand Traverse Academy.
County officials report that in the past three weeks they have taken over a thousand calls from residents asking for help and information about Whooping Cough. The infection originated at Grand Traverse Academy with the first 12 cases. The outbreak was widespread enough that less than 70% of student enrollment reported to school, forcing it’s closing for an entire week.
18% of the children attending GTA enrolled in the school with immunization waivers in their school records. Pertussis spreads quickly from unvaccinated people to vaccinated people through airborne contact. The Grand Traverse County Health Department urges everyone to get vaccinated and keep their immunizations up to date to help stop the spread of infection.