GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) Cases of whooping cough are skyrocketing throughout the State. It has local health officials concerned, especially with a new school year right around the corner.
New numbers provided by the State Health Department show a 1,200% increase in cases since last year, the highest in five decades. In Northeast Wisconsin, the hardest hit are Outagamie and Winnebago counties.
Statistic show that most children who get the disease are already immunized. However, the symptoms are less severe.
According to the Appleton Health Department, the problem is not the severe, classic cough associated with the disease. The issue is the time before the severe cough presents itself.
"When you're having those mild symptoms--that mild cough--you're more contagious and that's why this disease is so hard to stomp out, " says Kurt Eggebrecht, head of the Department.
Health officials say if someone in your house has a confirmed case of whooping cough, the whole family should be treated with antibiotics.
Newborns and infants are most at risk because they cannot receive the immunization. The State is urging anyone who comes in contact with newborns to get a booster of the vaccine.