Over 200% increase in whooping cough cases in Northern Kentucky

FT. MITCHELL, KY (FOX19) - The Northern Kentucky Health Department has reported an over 200% increase in cases of Pertussis, commonly known as Whooping Cough, in the past year.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department has reported that in the past year, Northern Kentucky has seen 111 cases of whooping cough, a 226% increase in cases from this time last year, and well above the average of 18 to 34 reported cases each year.

"[Whooping Cough] is a highly contagious disease and children under the age of 1 are the most vulnerable to it and can develop severe complications if infected," said District Director of Health Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH in a statement. "Deaths from the disease have occurred in this age group in other parts of the country."

The Health Department is urging everyone, especially those who take care of younger children, to be vaccinated with the Tdap booster shot, which should protect against the disease.

Parents of young children should make sure that their child has received vaccination against pertussis, typically given in a combination shot called DTaP, which includes vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria as well.

To schedule an appointment to receive a Tdap booster shot, call the Health Department at 859.341.4264. For more information on pertussis, please visit the Health Department's Web site at http://www.nkyhealth.org.

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