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A record number of whooping cough cases have been reported across the country this year.

The CDC said more than 16,000 cases of whopping cough have been confirmed nationwide and 1,200 cases have been confirmed in New York State.

Whooping cough or pertussis is defined as an infection of the respiratory system and is followed by coughing spells that could lead to pneumonia.

Community Nurse with the County health department Kay Kriner said there have only been three confirmed cases in Genesee County, but our neighbor Livingston County has had 97 confirmed cases.

“Most of the time when they find and trace back the source of whopping cough for an infant who becomes infected, 83% of those infants are infected by their mother, their father, siblings, close contacts like grandparents and that sort of thing,” said Kriner.

Kriner said the best defense against the disease is for everyone to get the pertussis or whooping cough vaccination.

The Genesee County health department offers the vaccine free for people 19 years of age or older. 

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