August 01, 2012
Whooping Cough is at epidemic levels in Minnesota, with officials encouraging the public to get new immunization shots and see a doctor if symptoms develop. One officials says that 40 new cases are being reported every day.
Phil Claussen, Director of Blue Earth County Human Services, told KTOE News that there have been ten confirmed cases of Whooping Cough, also known as Pertusses, in Blue Earth County. Nicollet County reports none.
Brad Crier, Epidemiologist for South Central Minnesota, says there have been dozens of cases in the eleven county area that he oversees. Classen sayssayssays there have be
Both Claussen and Crier confirm that the current outbreak meets the definition of an epidemic, but Crier points out that officials don't want to panic the public, yet it is important to let people know so they can be diagnosed and treated. Whooping Cough is most dangerous to infants under one year of age as their lungs and musculoskelatal development is not yet strong enough to fight the infection as that of adults.
Whooping Cough is a bacterial infection that can be treated sucessfully with antibiotics. Adults who don't seek treatment can be ill for four to six weeks, or even longer, and spread germs with every cough.
The biggest outbreaks have been in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area, Wright County, Rochester, and Albert Lea.
- Wendy Wilde