OLYMPIA — A Monroe state lawmaker has whooping cough and could be sidelined much of the remainder of the 2016 legislative session.
House members and staff learned Monday that Republican Rep. Elizabeth Scott had contracted the illness. Notification came in an email from the Office of the Chief Clerk.
The secretary of the Senate alerted senators and staff Tuesday.
Scott “is currently at home resting and will be able to return to Olympia Friday after a completed round of antibiotics if she feels well enough,” according to a statement released by Brendon Wold, deputy communications director for the House Republican caucus.
The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn March 10.
House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, said “all the appropriate protocols” were followed including contacting the state Department of Health and health authorities in Snohomish and Thurston counties.
He, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville and Chief Clerk Barbara Baker each said Tuesday they were unaware of any additional reports of people diagnosed with pertussis.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease caused by a bacterial infection. It affects the respiratory system and is spread by coughing and sneezing.
When it comes to infections, some years are worse than others.
Forty-three cases had been reported statewide in the through Feb. 26, compared to 145 reported cases in the same period in 2015, according to figures compiled by the state Department of Health.
The Snohomish Health District has logged five cases since the start of the year, compared to seven in the same period in 2015.
The last big outbreak of whooping cough was in 2012, when 585 people were infected locally, part of a statewide epidemic.
Scott, who is in her second term, is a candidate for Congress.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org.