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Whooping cough top priority for parents before school begins

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MILWAUKEE -- As kids get ready for the start of the school year, health is a top priority. That's especially true this year with the threat of whooping cough.

On Friday, August 17th, kids and their parents filled the gym at North Division High School for a back-to-school health fair. The biggest concern among parents there -- whooping cough.

Wisconsin has the highest rate of whooping cough in the U.S. with more than 3,000 suspected cases so far in 2012. There have been 366 case in Milwaukee County alone.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Health Commissioner Bevan Baker held a news conference Friday to talk about the health issue.

"This could be a deadly concern for the state of Wisconsin and it may take months, if not a year to get our arms around the issue," said Baker.

Barrett and Baker are calling on Gov. Scott Walker to declare a state of emergency because of the whooping cough outbreak.

"It`s freeing up resources and putting an emphasis on the issue," said Barrett.

Symptoms of whooping cough include fever, runny nose and persistent cough.

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