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Tulsa Health Experts Warn Of Uptick In Whooping Cough Cases

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Tulsa Health Experts Warn Of Uptick In Whooping Cough Cases Tulsa Health Experts Warn Of Uptick In Whooping Cough Cases
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Whooping cough is flaring up around the country.

Oklahoma health leaders want to make sure that we stay healthy, so they're encouraging everyone to roll up their sleeves and get a shot.

Health officials in Tulsa want parents to make sure everyone in the family is vaccinated against whooping cough.

"Pertussis is something that will kind of peak in the spring. So we have a higher number at this point, but it's probably going to average out at the end of the year," said Nicole Schlaefli, epidemiologist. 

Oklahoma sees about 150 cases of whooping cough per year.

The latest numbers show about 30 of those cases are in Tulsa.

Tulsan Whitney Burkey said she's making sure her family doesn't fall victim.

"I really feel like it's a preventable issue. And you know with the high risk of mortality that comes with it, it's frightening and it's sad," Burkey said.

Pertussis is potentially deadly and very contagious.

The cough of an infected child sounds like a whooping noise.

"You're not normally going to have a fever associated with it at first. It will start off as a soft cough for a couple of days, and it will progressively get to where you're coughing a multiple succession of times," Schlaefli said.

Because immunizations don't begin until a child is 2 months old, it's important pregnant women and those around infants are vaccinated.

"Just be very mindful of who you're going to be around knowing that the very young and the very old are more susceptible to getting it," Schlaefli said.

For more information on immunizations, visit The Oklahoma Department of Health's website

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