Whooping cough on the rise in Eau Claire County - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Whooping cough on the rise in Eau Claire County

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EAU CLAIRE -- If you have a lingering cough, the Eau Claire Health Department wants you to see a doctor.

Eau Claire County has had 120 cases of whooping cough this year. That's triple the number from a year ago.

The problem is being felt statewide. Wisconsin has the nation's highest rate of whooping cough cases.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory illness. For adults, it may seem like a bad cold. It can potentially be deadly for babies.

Elizabeth Giese, the Director of the Eau Claire County Health Department says, "It does progress to a cough that lasts for weeks and is a very difficult cough, often worse at night. Usually not a high fever, and usually not stomach issues except for vomiting that might come from coughing so hard."

The Health Department has these recommendations: see your health care provider if you have a cough that won't go away and be sure that your vaccinations are up to date.

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