More babies in Maine are coming down with whooping cough — according to the CDC, in 2012 there were more than 700 cases.
“Adults tend to be the ones to carry and spread the disease, but it’s infants and young children who are dramatically affected by it,” says Pediatrician Dr. Michael Ross.
Ross says the best advice he can give is for parents and kids to get vaccinated.
There’s also a few day to day things you can do to limit the spread of whooping cough.
“Cough into your sleeve, cover your mouth when you sneeze, and make sure that you are not spreading material from your mouth outward where it can be picked up by somebody else,” Ross explains.
Local infection prevention nurse Carrie Rice tells us while it’s not a direct way to stop the contagious cough, hand washing is the best way to keep everyone healthy.
“The number one way to prevent illness across the world is hand hygiene,” Rice says.
Germs are in schools and wherever our hands go.
“Anything that we touch could potentially have bacteria or viruses, whether it be bacteria from other people,” she explains.
Rice says no time is a bad time for hand washing.
“Anytime you come out of the restroom, anytime you have interaction with shaking hands, patting a pet, playing outside,” she says.
Experts say teach your kids good hand hygiene before the school year starts, and you’ll spend less time in the doctor’s waiting room.