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Doctors expect harsh cases of flu and whooping cough to rise this season

The rise in severe cases of influenza and whooping cough is expected due to the harsh flu season in the southern hemisphere. Doctors hope more people getting vaccines will slow the spread.

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FARGO — Specialists with Sanford Health are expecting a spike in harmful cases of the flu and whooping cough across the region. This is due to the harsh flu season that occurred in the southern hemisphere.

The flu season typically happens there before the northern flu season.

Pertussis or whooping cough can be extremely harmful to infants, and can kill them if not treated.

Doctors at Sanford want to see vaccination rates rise so hospital visits decline.

"What we are trying to do here is prevent hospitalizations, prevent the need for ventilators, prevent the complications of influenza and prevent death," said Dr. Clifford Mauriello with the Sanford Pediatric Infectious Disease unit.


There is no clear way to prevent the spread of influenza and whooping cough besides wide spread vaccinations.

"Moms we vaccinate against pertussis when they are pregnant, and other family members.... should be up to date before the infants are born, or if they are not up to date after the infant is born, they should be caught up," he said.

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