A student at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins has been diagnosed with pertussis or whooping cough. The ill student is being treated with antibiotics to stop further spread of the infection and will remain out of school until five days of antibiotic treatment had been completed.

Bordetella Pertussis, Flickr.pg

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing. The coughing can make it hard to breathe. A deep "whooping" sound is often heard when the patient tries to take a breath.

The state of Colorado is experiencing a record number of cases of whooping cough this year. From Jan. 1st through Oct. 6th, a total of 1,026 cases have been reported in Colorado. The average number of cases is 180 per year.