As of July 20, the Minnesota Department of Health is reporting 523 cases of whooping cough or pertussis in Hennepin County.
According to the CDC online, it is "a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. The best way to prevent it is through vaccinations. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria"
According to a Cable 12 report, there are more than 1,800 pertussis cases in Minnesota, but the Minnesota Department of Health predicts that number could rise to 3,400 by the end of the year.
"Across the country the data shows only about 8 percent of adults have, so that's something that we can do to really make a dent in the outbreak," said Kris Ehresmann with the Minnesota Department of Health in the Cable 12 report.
According to a CDC child fact sheet: "Pertussis leaves its victims literally gasping for air. At first, this tricky pretender might seem like a common cold—runny nose, fever, and cough. That's stage 1, when pertussis is just warming up. After a week or two, pertussis infection delivers its cruel surprise—extreme coughing spells. In these fits people can literally cough so hard and long that they throw up or turn blue because they can't breathe."
An infected person has a whooping sound when they cough. It strikes babies and infants the hardest and if one person in your household goes undetected with the disease it is pretty much guaranteed that everyone will get it.
So where can you get vaccinated?
• Walgreens has search option for all its stores that will give you the vaccination: (Click under the option that says "show more services.")
• Target Clinics also offer a similar search and option.
• Cub Foods pharmacies offers its own option.
• CVS pharmacies has its own vaccination offers as well.