Whooping cough cases could be unprecedented - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Whooping cough cases could be unprecedented

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Health officials expect the number of whooping cough cases could be unprecedented this year in Minnesota.

The state projection mirrors a national trend with the number of cases rising at an epidemic rate. Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far.

Minnesota Department of Health immunization director Kris Ehresmann says by the end of year, whooping cough cases could top 3,400. That would double the last outbreak in 2005.

Ehresmann tells KARE-TV most cases are in pre-adolescents, age 7 to 10. There are two vaccines for whooping cough, one for kids and one for adults.

Health officials are calling on adults, especially pregnant women and those who spend time around children, to get a booster shot as soon as possible.

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