An increase in the number of whooping cough cases has officials reminding all Missourians to check on their last vaccination for the disease.
In St. Louis County, officials have reported 146 cases of the disease compared to 8 last year at this time.
"We’ve seen increases in cases in St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County in Eastern Missouri but other states are seeing spikes," said state health department epidemiologist Cindy Butler. "We think it’s a cyclical thing every about three to five years we see increases in cases so that’s another reason we need to be always vigilant with vaccination."
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that causes coughing with a high pitched "whoop" sound and nausea.
"We believe it’s waning immunity," Butler said. "We’ve been seeing cases in fully immunized children and usually the shot lasts for 6 years after children are fully immunized and they need boosters ten years after their last one."
Missourians should check with their doctors and make sure their whooping cough vaccines are up to date.
"Every ten years you go and get your tetnus shot, now you can get a shot called TDAP," Butler said. "TDAP has tetnus, pertussis and diphtheria, so everybody can go get a shot every ten years."
It won’t hurt you to just go ahead and get the shot if you aren’t sure when you got your last booster, she said.