Whooping Cough Death Puts Minnesota Doctors, Parents on Alert

Whooping cough, or pertussis, can be prevented through vaccination.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota Health Officials are on alert after whooping cough took the life of an infant in November, the first case in many years.

The last pediatric death related to whooping cough in Minnesota was in 2013.

According to pediatricians at Essentia Health, you should bring your infant or child in if they develop prolonged cold symptoms past a week that include a worsening cough, especially after being around other people who’ve been sick.

“Sometimes we test just because it’s hard to know in the first week or two ’cause it looks like a common cold and it’s very contagious in that common cold stage,” said Dr. Sharnell Valentine, a pediatrician at Essentia.

“It’s a very scary and terribly uncomfortable disease for an infant to go through.”

Health officials also urge mothers to get vaccinated during pregnancy to help their babies develop an immunity to whooping cough.

Babies should also get vaccinated when they are two months old.

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