NEW ORLEANS — Whooping cough has set a post-1960s record in Louisiana and things are worse in Texas, where nearly 2,900 cases have been reported, and Arkansas, where numbers are double those of a year ago. Louisiana health officials are asking doctors to keep an eye out for it.
Louisiana's state epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard, said 169 confirmed and likely cases as of mid-October breaks a vaccination-era record of about 160 for all of last year.
The disease starts like a cold, with sneezing and a congested or runny nose.
Ratard said adults should get booster shots if they're going to be around a baby so they don't unknowingly spread the disease to those most likely to die from it.
Five babies less than two months old have died of whooping cough this year in Louisiana and Texas.