Pertussis still a threat in Olmsted County - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Pertussis still a threat in Olmsted County

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Pertussis continues to be a problem across Olmsted County. In fact, just in the first half of this year, the county has had five times as many cases as in all of 2011.

Pertussis will typically peak every three to five years. While this year has been a peak year, it's unique in that the county is still seeing growing numbers of cases this far into summer.

98 cases have been reported this year in Olmsted County and the pattern is similar across Minnesota. According to Public Health, there's reason to believe many people are spreading the disease and they don't even know they have it.

"I do believe there are many people in the community that are unaware of the outbreak of pertussis but also about what the symptoms are," said Linda Haeussinger of Olmsted County Public Health. "The primary symptom of pertussis is coughing and we cough for many reasons, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergies, etc."

The Rochester Area Family YMCA hasn't had any cases of whooping cough in their facility but they encourage people to always practice good hygiene.

"We're always telling kids to cough into their arm and do not use their hands and do not face people when they cough," said Steve Courts, Executive Director and CEO of the Rochester Area Family YMCA.

Fewer than 10 percent of adults across the country are vaccinated against the disease. That's currently considered the best method of prevention among health professionals.

For more information on Pertussis click here.

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