Ohio sees rises in whooping cough cases

While health officials in California have recently declared a whopping cough epidemic, their counterparts in Columbus, Ohio have also noted a significant rise in cases.

“We're definitely seeing more cases in 2010 than we saw in the last few years,” the Columbus Health Department's Dr. Mysheika LeMaile-Williams told

To date, Ohio health officials say 257 cases of whooping cough have been diagnosed in 2010, compared to 173 last year.

Dr. LeMaile-Williams told that central Ohio has a greater percentage of cases than the rest of the state, and that cases could be on track to meet or beat those in a 2004 outbreak of the illness – one of the worst in the state’s history.

"Is it because of testing?  Is it because of a higher incidence of disease? Why do we have a higher incidence of disease?" LeMaile-Williams said, reports. “And so we're trying to look into that more closely over the next few months.”

Ohio health officials are recommending that parents of young children and daycare workers get booster shots to fight whooping cough.

Meanwhile, as of last week, Health officials in California reported that 1000 cases of whooping cough have been confirmed since June 15 and five infant deaths have been attributed to whooping cough.