SD DOH: Whooping cough cases on the rise in South Dakota

May 20, 2024

PIERRE, S.D.–The South Dakota Department of Health says cases of pertussis, a bacterial infection also known as whooping cough, are up 4,500%.

The state’s infectious disease dashboard shows that 45 cases have been reported so far this year. The highest number of those came from the northeast and southeast parts of the state.

Dr. Dan Boadwine with the Avera Medical Group said that it’s estimated that 80% of individuals who are at risk and exposed to pertussis will contract the infection. The highly contagious nature of pertussis means that safety measures are important to limit the spread.

Dr. Boadwine says illnesses like whooping cough typically begin spreading in areas where vaccine rates are lower.