BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A warning for parents: whooping cough cases are on the rise in Butler County.
Since March of this year, Butler County health officials have seen five confirmed cases of Pertussis or whooping cough, all in school age children.
"Our kids are in such close proximity that you can't help but pass things back and forth, so anything we can do to alleviate that," said Sheryl Talkington, the health coordinator at Poplar Bluff Schools.
Talkington said they sent a letter home to parents letting them know about the cases.
"I think parents appreciate honesty and us being up front," Talkington said.
"You always worry about your grandkids, they're so precious to you and you don't want anything to happen to them," said Barbara L. Green.
Green works for the school district, has a granddaughter in school there, and has the disease as a child.
She said she wants to make sure her granddaughter doesn't have to go through the same thing.
"The more people we can get immunized the greater chance we have to stop this before it goes any further," Talkington said.
Sherri Dodson, a registered nurse and clinic manager for the Butler County Health Department said that's why they're reminding people to get vaccinated.
Usually the schedule for the D-Tap or the vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis is given to infants on a schedule at ages two, four and six years old; and finally between 15 and 18 months.
But it's not just the kids that need the shots.
"It is very important for adults to get their vaccination," Dodson said.
Dodson said adults need a T-Dap booster every 10 years.
"A lot of times it's adults that do pass it down to the children, especially infants that haven't had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated yet, they carry the disease, and it's not as severe in adults, as it is in children," Dodson said.
In adults, whooping cough might start out by looking like a common cold, and progress into a cough by week two, after you've already infected your child.
We're told Dunklin County has also seen one case of whooping cough this year.
To know when and where to get your vaccination, call your local health department.