Posted Friday, August 17, 2012 --- 7:45 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin has the nation's highest rate of whooping cough cases, as the U.S. appears headed for its worst year for the disease in more than five decades.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says through July 5, the disease occurred in nearly 51 of 100,000 people in Wisconsin. That's nearly 10 times the national average. Washington had the second highest rate, with about 39 cases per 100,000 residents.
Washington has declared an epidemic. Wisconsin has not.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory illness. For adults, it may seem like a bad cold. But, for infants it can potentially be deadly.
The State Journal (http://tinyurl.com/984fnew ) reports one infant with pertussis died in February in Wisconsin.
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.