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August 30, 2014

189 more cases of whooping cough confirmed in state

The Minnesota Department of Health says 189 new cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough — have been confirmed in the state in the last week, reports Minnesota Public Radio. That brings the total to more than 3,500 cases in the state this year.

The Pioneer Press reports that the previous state record of 1,571 cases of the bacterial infection — set in 2005 — was broken in  June.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes pertussis as a “highly contagious” respiratory disease and notes the best means of prevention is immunization.

Pertussis can cause uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe, the CDC says. Those greatest at risk include young children, and with babies under 1 year of age, it can be fatal.