Maine confirms new whooping cough cases

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 13 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, since November 1 in the state, which is up from seven cases in the same period last year.

The Maine organization issued a public health alert about pertussis last week, which was the second statewide alert about the disease in four months, the Portland Press Herald reports.

"Pertussis is really a major problem, not just in Maine but all over the country," Stephen Sears, Maine's state epidemiologist, said, according to the Portland Press Herald. "We've had cases pretty much all around the state."

Pertussis is spread by droplets of saliva, which can occur from a cough in the face. Whooping cough has spread through several states, including California, which has had its worst outbreak in 60 years this year. Ten young children have died from the illness in California so far this year.

Even though most Maine children are routinely vaccinated against whooping cough, they may still be able to get the disease. The disease is actually more prevalent in adults that most people realize as Mainers from seven to 60 years old have been diagnosed in the last two months.

The CDC of Maine has recommended that pre-teens, teenagers and adults who come into contact with infants get Tdap boosters when they receive their next tetanus shot. The Tdap booster includes both an adult booster for pertussis and tetanus.