EPHRATA, Wash. — Grant County Health District staff members are investigating three confirmed cases and one potential case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

In a GCHD press release, staff members said all of the known cases of whooping cough are within the Ephrata community and none are hospitalized. Family and close contacts have been notified by the health district and started on post-exposure preventative measures.

To control the spread of the disease, the Grant County Health Officer has recommended antibiotics for a defined number of individuals who have come into contact with the ill individuals. According to the Grant County Health District press release, antibiotics are not recommended to the public.

According to the release, whooping cough is a highly contagious disease only found in humans and spread through the air by coughing, sneezing or prolonged sharing of breathing space. Symptoms usually develop within 5-10 days but can occur up to three weeks following exposure.

The release lists the following as symptoms:

Early symptoms are comparable to that of the common cold and include runny nose, low fever and mild cough.

Late symptoms include long series of coughs, vomiting during or after cough, turning blue or difficulty catching breath during or after coughing fits and exhaustion after coughing fits

According to the release, a whooping cough vaccination is recommended for all who are not up to date.