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Health

Michigan health officials urge vaccination to avoid pertussis outbreak

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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 vaccine to 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.