An explosion in Whooping Cough cases throughout the nation has led to a federal grant coming to Missouri to head off the spread of the disease here. The Centers for Disease Control recorded a 68-year high in national Pertussis cases last year.–41,000 of them, more than double the 2011 number.  Missouri’s cases have fluctuated but the trend line has been tilting upward in the last five years. 

Pertussis–Whooping Cough–is a highly-contagious bacterial disease passed on through personal contact.  It starts out feeling like a cold with a cough. But the cough gets worse and sometimes it can lead to death. 

The state health department’s Ryan Hobart says 201 Missouri cases have been counted this year.  The state had 815 cases confirmed last year.                                       

Inoculations for Pertussis, Diphtheria, and Tetanus are standard for children.  But doctors recommend adults get the so-called Tdap booster every ten years.  Shots under the federal inoculation program are available through public health departments.  Here’s a link to a chart providing the where-and-when information.

AUDIO: HObart interview