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State confirms 400 whooping cough cases in past month

Minnesota's number of whooping cough cases continues to grow. The state confirmed about 400 new cases of whooping cough in the past month, raising the total in Minnesota to nearly 2,400 infections this year. The number of confirmed cases is the highest since vaccines were introduced in the 1950s.
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The state confirmed about 400 new cases of whooping cough in the past month, raising the total in Minnesota to nearly 2,400 infections this year, the Star Tribune reports. The number of confirmed cases is the highest since vaccines were introduced in the 1950s.

The number of cases so far this year is nearly 900 more than the previous state record. The Pioneer Press reports the record -- 1,571 cases set in 2005 -- was broken in June.

While Minnesota has had a rough year with the disease, neighboring Wisconsin tops the nation in whooping cough cases, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Whooping cough is medically known as pertussis. The Centers for Disease Control says pertussis "is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe."

After suffering from fits of many coughs, a person infected with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes -- resulting in a "whooping" sound, the CDC says.

The CDC discusses how the disease is caused and how it is transmitted, and offers tips on how to prevent it on its web site. The disease can be potentially fatal in infants.

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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. That brings the total to more than 3,500 cases in the state this year.

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Minnesota is one of several states dealing with a severe outbreak of the disease. Some 400 new cases have popped up in Minnesota this month. The people contracting the disease most often are older elementary school kids and middle schoolers.

Minnesota whooping cough cases could double state record

In June, Minnesota broke the previous record of 1,571 whooping cough cases, set in 2005. By the end of last week, state public health officials had confirmed 1,881 cases of the disease. Now Minnesota is on pace to shatter that record – perhaps double it – by year's end.

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The Minnesota Department of Health tells KARE 11 that there have already been 670 cases of whooping cough diagnosed in the state, which has already eclipsed the total amount of cases diagnosed in in Minnesota in 2011. Doctors are recommending tetanus booster shots to prevent new cases.