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Dec 10, 2013 10:08 AM by Bethany Rhodes

Colo. whooping cough epidemic continues

DENVER (AP) - A whooping cough epidemic that began in 2012 is continuing to surge in Colorado.

As of Nov. 16, nearly 1,200 cases of pertussis were confirmed in Colorado, up from 419 in 2011.

According to the Denver Post, the state health department blames ordinary disease cycles for the spike.

Whooping cough, also called pertussis, typically isn't life-threatening for teens and healthy adults, but it can kill infants and people with weak immune systems. It's a highly contagious bacterial infection that spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It often starts with cold-like symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. The cough becomes more severe and becomes a high-pitched whoop.

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