Jefferson Co. health officials see increase in whooping cough cases

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Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

JEFERSON CO. — The Jefferson County Health Dept. is seeing an increase in pertussis or whooping cough cases in the month of July. To date, there are 15 confirmed cases in Jefferson County.

In all, there have been 17 cases of whooping cough in Jefferson County since the beginning of the year. That compares to only one case during the same time frame in 2011.

Health officials are urging residents to seek pertussis vaccinations, especially in light of the current outbreak.

Wisconsin is experiencing a widespread outbreak of the disease, with 3,169 confirmed and probable cases to date compared to 220 cases in this timeframe in 2011.

Pertussis is a contagious bacterial disease affecting the respiratory tract and is spread by coughing, often through repeated face-to-face contact. Pertussis tends to be a cyclical disease where case numbers may rise dramatically every four to five years.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.