The Northern Kentucky Health Department is urging area residents to consider vaccinations for infants and booster shots for older children and adults who spend time around infants. The Department says the increasing number of whooping cough cases reported recently is a reason to be concerned.
The disease is also known as pertussis. Health officials say it can be severe for infants under one year of age. The Health Department says 39 cases of whooping cough have been reported in northern Kentucky since January. By comparison, an average of 25 cases were reported per year between 2003 and 2009.
Early symptoms of whooping cough include sneezing, a low grade fever, a runny nose, and a mild cough. The mild cough turns into a persistent cough that comes in explosive bursts.
Health officials say vaccinations are available at area Health Departments and many area pharmacies. The Centers for Disease Control lists whooping cough vaccine as " very effective, but not 100 percent effective."