Health
6:00 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Whooping Cough Cases Increasing In North Carolina

Pertussis, often known as Whooping Cough, is on the rise in North Carolina.

Asma Khalid: Whooping cough sounds antiquated - like something you could catch on "The Oregon Trail." But, it's not just a fictional computer game disease. North Carolina health officials have witnessed a number of recent outbreaks. To date, they've tracked 179 cases. That's already more than in all of 2011.  The State's Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging people to get immunized, no matter how old they are. Zack Moore is an epidemiologist with the state.

Zack Moore: There's a lot of pertussis, whooping cough that's being spread around in adolescents and adults. And, unfortunately, that can find its way back to the very young - babies, which is the group we worry about the most in terms of actually dying from pertussis.

The state is offering the vaccine for free.