PORTLAND, Maine — Maine health officials say there has been a rash of whooping cough cases in the last two months.
Since Nov. 1, there have been 13 cases of whooping cough in Maine, also known as Pertussis, compared with seven cases in the same period last year.
Pertussis is marked by intense coughing spells that can end with a distinct “whoop” as air is inhaled.
In the 1930s and 1940s pertussis killed thousands of people, but it has been brought under control through routine vaccinations.
Maine epidemiologist Stephen Sears says pertussis is a problem across the state and across the country.
He tells the Portland Press Herald the vaccine doesn’t always work and some children go unvaccinated, opening the door to the disease.