MARYLAND - Health experts are reporting an increase in Whooping Cough cases locally and nationally.
Last year, there were 30,000 cases and 14 deaths. That's why Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties have launched the Healthy Embrace Campaign.
Anyone who comes in close contact with babies are urged to get the booster shot. Experts say a person with whooping cough can be contagious for as long as two weeks before, to two weeks after symptoms begin.
"Early on you can't tell it from a cold or flu, but after a few days when the horrible cough goes on and on and on, it becomes clearly different," said Dr. James Cockey, Physicians Deputy Health Officer for the Wicomico County Health Department.
Again, Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset county health departments are offering a limited supply of free vaccines.
For more information contact your local office:
Wicomico County Health Department - 410-543-6943.
Worcester County Health Department - 410-632-1100.
Somerset County Health Department - 443-523-1740.