CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Health Department, Hamilton County Public Health and Northern Kentucky Health Department are urging citizens to follow vaccination guidelines for pertussis due to increasing cases in the area.
Cases reported in Southwest Ohio in the month of October were higher than average, with a reported 54 cases from Hamilton to Northern Kentucky.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly-contagious respiratory disease. The disease can start with cold-like symptoms with a cough or fever. After a week, severe coughing fits begin and can continue for weeks.
Because pertussis is its early stages seems just like an ordinary cold, most don't catch it until it has advanced to a severe state.
Vaccination is the best way to protect against pertussis. Children can receive the vacinnation DTap -- a five dose series that starts at eight weeks of age and ends with a booster between ages 4 and 6.
For older children or adults, Tdap boosters are recommended. Both types of vaccinations are available at doctor's offices, clinics and health departments.
Cincinnati Health Department: 513-357-7200
Hamilton County Public Health: 513-946-7882
Northern Kentucky Health Department: 859-341-4264
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.