Clinics set up to combat pertussis outbreak

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's Health Department has organized two pertussis vaccination clinics in the western Black Hills, after an outbreak of the disease better known as whooping cough.

Shots were being given in Rapid City on Wednesday, and a clinic was scheduled Thursday in Spearfish. The clinics are targeted at infants, children, adolescents and pregnant women who are not current with their pertussis vaccinations.

State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says if people aren't sick there's no need for them to see a doctor. He says officials are instead encouraging people to check their immunization status, and get a shot if they're not up to date.

More than one-third of the 29 cases of pertussis so far this year in South Dakota have been in the Black Hills.

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