Making sure that your child is properly immunized could save their life. On the rise since 1990, pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has been reported in the Muskingum County area. Pertussis, which is a highly contagious bacterial infection that causes coughing and gagging, was reported to the Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department just a little over a month ago. Pertussis is primarily spread through respiratory droplets and anyone who is exposed can contract the disease. Although the disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics, it can be deadly for young children. Dr. Vicki Whitacre, medical director for the health department, says the best way to protect your child is to make sure that your child is properly immunized. The health department has a walk-in immunization clinic on wednesdays or you can call for an appointment at 454-9741.