The Allegheny County Health Department is reminding the public to get vaccinated for pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Department spokesman Dave Zazac noted there have been 46 confirmed or probable pertussis cases countywide this year, far above the typical average of seven. He said the bacterial infection can be picked up by touching tissues with the disease, or by coming into contact with bacteria put in the air through coughing.
"It can cause uncontrollable violent coughing, and makes it hard to breath for the individual infected, and after many fits of coughing someone with pertussis may need to take some deep breaths that can result in a characteristic whoop," explained Zazac.
Because the vaccine for pertussis can wear off, he recommended that people of all ages get vaccinated. More information can be found at the Health Department's website.