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Whooping Cough Outbreak Worries Health Officials

There are outbreaks in 37 states, including several Florida counties. Health officials tell parents to make sure their kids' shots are up to date.

A nationwide spike in whooping cough outbreaks is prompting health officials to warn parents to make sure their children are vaccinated and get followup booster shots, according to media reports.

Florida cases so far top 2011, with the biggest spikes in Miami-Dade and Broward, according to the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology.

The total number of Florida cases through July 7 is 273, the Miami Herald reports. The highest numbers are in the southeast and central Floirda.

In all, 37 states are seeing higher numbers over last year, with Washington State declaring an epidemic.

How to Keep Kids Healthy

Whooping cough is a contagious respiratory disease that can spread by sneezing or coughing, the Miami Herald reports. The worst cases can cause pneumonia, seizures, shock or death.

Health officials are telling parents to make sure their children's shots are up to date.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is worse in infants and can be fatal.

The symptoms are less severe in healthy teens and adults. But they may transmit whooping cough to young children.

Carolyn and Cricket July 21, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Interesting,,I never thought about adults getting it. I thought is was a childs illlness.
NotOkay July 22, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I feel like I am dying! I was fine all day yesterday. Then BOOM! All of a sudden around 5 pm I started feeling terrible. All day today I've been sneezing, have a runny nose and felt like I needed to be in bed. Now it's almost 1 am and I've been coughing and sneezing and can't sleep.
Maria July 25, 2012 at 01:05 PM
My husband and I have been coughing violently. I have been coughing for over 2 months. I went to Urgent Care in Miami one month ago and they told me I have bronchitis. We think we have Whooping Cough. The doctors should do a better job at identifying this disease.

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