Winona Health has had its first positive case of Whooping Cough and the state department of health is recommending that young people who have not been vaccinated get the necessary vaccines at the earliest recommended age.
The department says, pertussis, as it is also called, has reached an epidemic in Minnesota and other states, particularly Washington and Wisconsin.
As of July 30th, 1758 cases have already been reported in Minnesota and more than 400 were reported in July. The state has already surpassed the annual total reported during the peak incidence years of 2008 and 2010.
Beth Poulin, Director of Emergency and Urgent Care at Winona Heath, says some of the symptoms of pertussis include a barking-type cough.
The state says only 70% of Minnesota children 13-to-17 years of age have received the necessary vaccination according to an immunization survey. Poulin said to get a child vaccinated, parents must make an appointment at the Winona Clinic with family medicine, pediatrics, or internal medicine.
The state also says although protecting infants by vaccinating their mothers and other caregivers is a priority, all adolescents should receive the one-time booster.