St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- 2012 hit Minnesota hard when it comes to the whooping cough.
According to preliminary numbers released today from the Minnesota Department of Health, last year saw 4,485 confirmed cases of the whooping cough making it the worst year for pertussis in over a decade.
Here in the Northland, about 200 confirmed cases of the whooping cough were reported.
So far in 2013, 90 cases of the whooping cough have already been confirmed, most of which are in the Twin City metro area.
Children have been hit the hardest by the whooping cough outbreak, with the majority of cases being reported between one to 18 years of age.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a disease that affects the lungs. Pertussis bacteria are spread from person to person through the air. A person with pertussis develops a severe cough that usually lasts four to six weeks or longer. Pertussis can be very serious, especially in infants.
Health officials say the best way to prevent whooping cough is to get your children vaccinated and to always cover your cough to stop the spread of the illness.
Posted to the web by Krista Burns