Ohio urges vaccinations against whooping cough

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio health officials are encouraging Ohioans to get up to date on booster shot vaccinations against whooping cough amid outbreaks around the state.

The Ohio Department of Health says the highly contagious disease is one of the most commonly occurring vaccine-preventable ones in the United States. The disease also known as pertussis is usually spread it by coughing or sneezing.

Health officials say it affects all ages but is most severe for babies. More than half of infants less than 1 year of age with pertussis must be hospitalized. It can be deadly in rare cases.

Officials say 901 Ohio cases were reported as of Nov. 2, compared with 742 by that date last year.

Pertussis usually starts with cold-like symptoms before it progresses to a persistent cough with spasms.

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