Whooping cough found in Missouri Amish community

Friday, July 30, 2010 | 2:23 p.m. CDT

MEXICO, Mo. — Health officials have identified six cases of whooping cough among a northeast Missouri Amish community in the past week.

The Mexico Ledger reports the first Audrain County case was diagnosed July 23 and the other five were confirmed the next day. Whooping cough, or pertussis, has symptoms that are similar to a common cold and can be highly contagious.

Health officials say about one-fourth of the 82 pertussis cases reported over the past month in Missouri involve children less than a year old.

They say the best way to avoid whooping cough is to be vaccinated against the disease, which can cause severe illness or even death if left untreated.


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