State health officials say Indiana is experiencing its largest outbreak of whooping cough, including two infant deaths, since 1959. Indiana health officials report more than 500 recent cases of pertussis more commonly known as whooping cough. It’s a contagious bacterial illness that causes severe coughing fits that can interfere with breathing. State health commissioner Gregory Larkin says pertussis is often milder in older children and adults, but can be fatal for very young children. He says he’s particularly concerned about the outbreak, because it’s a preventable illness.
“There’s been probably a flood of misinformation over the last decade about the safety of vaccinations and that has caused some people to not get them,” Larkin said.
Larkin says people often don’t realize that the shot is required as a series for babies, then again as a booster shot as an adult. Larkin advises all Hoosiers to check with their doctors to ensure they are up to date on the whooping cough vaccination to help stop the spread to unprotected children and adults.