Rochester, MN  (KROC AM News) - Olmsted County Public Health is monitoring an increase in whooping cough cases in the community.

The department is reporting that there have been a total of 76 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of pertussis in the county this year, with over half of the those cases occurring since November 1st. Officials say the confirmed cases are predominantly in school populations, although there have been sporadic non-school cases as well.

 They are advising that a medical provider be contacted and a pertussis test requested if you or a family member experiences a prolonged, persistent cough lasting more than a week.

Left untreated with antibiotics, pertussis can be a serious bacterial illness. It starts with cold like symptoms, possibly accompanied by a low grade fever. After one or two weeks, the cough worsens and results in uncontrolled coughing attacks that can continue for several months.

Persons with whooping cough are contagious for up to 3 weeks, or up to 5 days after antibiotics are administered.

More information is available on the Minnesota Department of Health website.


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