Whooping cough cases on the increase - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Whooping cough cases on the increase

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The state health department is recommending all Kentuckians get vaccinated against whooping cough.

The recommendation comes after the number of recorded cases of the bacterial infection has jumped from 47 in 2007 to 250 in 2010.

The Lexington Herald-Leader quotes the state health department as saying especially vulnerable are children younger than age 1. Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is highly contagious and spreads through airborne particles from a cough or sneeze.

People at highest risk of contracting whooping cough are close household members. Infected people become contagious before the cough develops until about two weeks afterward.

The early symptoms of pertussis include runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and a mild cough. After a week or two, a persistent cough develops, occurring in explosive bursts, sometimes ending with a high-pitched "whoop" and vomiting.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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