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Michigan health officials urge vaccination to avoid pertussis outbreak

Health officials urge Michigan residents to get a Tdap vaccine
user mconnors
Health officials urge Michigan residents to get a Tdap vaccine

Washington, Montana and other states are experiencing pertussis outbreaks.

The respiratory disease, also known as whooping cough, is highly contagious. If infants catch it, they often end up in the hospital.

Bob Swanson is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. He says Michigan residents can help stave off a whooping cough outbreak in the state. Swanson says everyone - young and old - should get the Tdap vaccineto help prevent against pertussis and other diseases.

"The best thing that we can do is assure that everybody’s getting this vaccine so that we do have an immune population," explains Swanson. "That will stop us from seeing the disease increase in Michigan."

Cases of pertussis have been on the decline in Michigan. Last year there were 700 reported cases, compared to about 1,500 reported cases in 2010.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.