MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota health experts are bracing for what could be a record-breaking year for the number of whooping cough cases in the state.
Whooping cough has been linked to 10 deaths nationwide this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The majority of deaths are infants and the outbreak doesn't show signs of slowing down anytime soon.
In fact, in Minnesota the number of cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is projected to be unprecedented.
Kris Ehresmann, director of immunizations for the Minnesota Department of Health, says in Minnesota, by the end of 2012, cases of whooping cough could be over 3,400. That would double the last outbreak in 2005.
So far there are no reported deaths in Minnesota, but the threat is real.
"If we look at where we're seeing the most cases they tend to be in that pre-adolescent age, 7-10 year olds," she said.
There are two vaccines for whooping cough, one for kids and one for adults.
All infants and children should get the vaccinated as soon as possible. Adolescents should get the DTaP booster. Adults should get the DTaP vaccine.
Health officials say boosters are bringing the outbreaks under control, but the rise and fall of whooping cough cases is still hard to predict.
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