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Whooping Cough Cases on the Rise

Lake Preston Community Health Care
Lake Preston Community Health Care
November 9, 2012

LAKE PRESTON, S.D. – Whooping cough, or pertussis, is on the rise across the country.

South Dakota reports 56 cases through October, an increase of 87 percent over last year. And it is much worse in neighboring Minnesota with more than 4,000 cases, and Iowa with more than 1,100.

Melissa Castillo, a physician’s assistant with the Lake Preston Community Health Center, says even some older children have contracted whooping cough this fall.

"A few of the kids were actually kind of in that age group where their immunity is waning because they're due for their booster – because they get a T-DAP booster about the age of 11 or 12. So, for those kids, it's usually about 5th grade you will find that, with their immunity waning, it's probably the reason why we saw more cases."

The South Dakota State Health Department recommends a series of five doses of vaccine for infants and young children.

Castillo says whooping cough can be very serious for the very young.

"We are most worried about infants – you know, a year [old] or less – because they can end up in the hospital with pneumonia or even death."

Castillo says adults can catch whooping cough, and should also get a booster shot.

"If you have an adult that comes in and they didn't get that T-DAP as a pre-teen, what I advise they do is that adults get the T-DAP for their next regular tetanus booster."

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD