Health officials have declared a whooping cough outbreak in Franklin County, with close to 800 cases discovered.
The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department wants to spread awareness to the public about this disease, that can be prevented by having your child receive their routine immunizations.
So far in Muskingum County, only nine cases have been reported this year, compared to last year's 200.
"Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that causes a very severe cough in little children, it starts out like a common cold," said Director of Nursing Gloria Kieffer.
Kieffer says the child tends to have difficulty breathing as a result of the intense coughing fits. It is contagious and adults can pass it on to children if they are in close contact. She says this cough is not to be taken lightly and can actually be fatal if not treated properly.
"Whooping cough in infants is very severe, it can cause children to have to be hospitalized, in California they have had nine infant deaths this year," said Kieffer.
She advises taking your child to the doctor if they display any abnormalities.
For more information, you can visit: http://publichealth.columbus.gov/health_alerts.aspx?id=30632