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North Shore Health Department advises vaccination

June 29, 2012

In light of an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in Wisconsin, the North Shore Health Department is recommending individuals to receive vaccination.

Between January 1 and May 31 of this year, there have been 206 confirmed cases of pertussis in Milwaukee County, up from 16 in the same time period in 2011. Pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms and can progress to explosive coughing that can interrupt breathing, eating and sleeping.

People of all ages are able to contract pertussis, though infants are particularly vulnerable.

"It's especially a problem for infants," said NSHD Public Health Nurse Randie Parks. "Half of them require hospitalization and some of them die."

NSHD urges individuals to check their immunization status and visit their health care providers if they have not received a pertussis immunization.

Residents can call (414) 371-2980 for more information regarding immunizations from NSHD, which also has vaccines available.

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