PHOENIX — Arizona’s top health official said a remote community long
dominated by a polygamist sect is responsible for much of a recent increase in
whooping cough in the state.
Department of Health Services Director Will Humble said Arizona has seen an
increase of over 300 percent in the past several years.
Humble said many recent cases of whooping cough are part of an ongoing
outbreak in the Colorado City area of the Arizona Strip, the part of northern
Arizona located north of the Grand Canyon.
According to Humble, most of the Colorado City-area cases involve children and
most either are unvaccinated or not up to date on their vaccinations.
Whooping cough is also known as pertussis. It’s a highly contagious and
potentially deadly respiratory disease associated with coughing fits.