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Officials see increase in whooping cough cases


Whooping cough cases are increasing in Wisconsin, and health officials are urging people to make sure their vaccinations are up to date.

Since the start of the year, state health officials have investigated nearly 3,500 cases. That's about 11 cases for every 100,000 people.

People who don't have school-aged children may not be thinking about immunizations, but doctors said they should be.

"Everybody sees it as I saw it before I had it as an adult -- that it's a childhood disease and it doesn't happen to adults," said Maxine Dwyer, a nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, who has had two bouts with whooping cough. 

"This is the (cough) that sounds like it's coming from your toes. It's deep and it goes on and on and on to the point you feel like you may not be able to catch your next breath," Dwyer said.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the highest instances are in Dane County.  

Boys & Girls Club teams up with MadisonScuba

Boys & Girls Club teams up with MadisonScuba

The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County will be teaming up with MadisonScuba for the Discover Scuba Diving Program.

The program gives club members an opportunity to learn how to scbua dive. Certified instructors will teach children how to use scuba equipment and allow them to spend most of class in and under water.

“Boys & Girls Clubs is exciting to be partnering with MadisonScuba.  The kids in our community will get a once in a lifetime experience that they might not otherwise have.  We at BGCDC are committed to exposing our kids to enriching programs such as this.  We believe that through these encounters they will be better equipped to realize their full potential,” said Michael Johnson, CEO of BGCDC, in a statement.

The program starts Thursday at Sun Prairie High School. The program runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and then will be offered twice a month during July and August.

Whooping cough on the rise in Dane County

Whooping cough on the rise in Dane County

Over the past several months, whooping cough, or pertussis, has been on the rise in Dane County, according to Public Health Department officials.

Since March 1, more than 90 cases have been reported in Dane County and more cases are expected, officials said.

Most of the reported cases are school aged children -- and within the age group, the hardest hit is 10 to 14 year old people, officials said. More than 160 total cases have been reported since the beginning of the year. 

While cases of pertussis have been found in quite a few areas of the county, clusters of cases have been reported in Sun Prairie, Monona and Cottage Grove. 

Other counties in Wisconsin have also seen an increase in pertussis. 

City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses

City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses

City of Madison and Dane County leaders on Monday announced the latest steps under way to tackle the root of heroin usage.

Law enforcement officials are honing in on prescription drugs as the gateway to heroin.

Officials said they hope an expansion of Safe Communities MedDrop locations can help curb the problem with opiates.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Monday they are more than doubling the number of Safe Communities MedDrop locations, from four locations to 10, where residents can get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted medicine.

The new boxes will be at police departments in Cambridge, Deerfield, Madison West District, Mazomanie, McFarland and Waunakee. The four current locations include police stations in Fitchburg, Madison East District, Middleton and Sun Prairie.

Health Officials Warn Of Norovirus Cases

Health Officials Warn Of Norovirus Cases

Public Health Madison-Dane County officials said they have received numerous reports of people sick with vomiting and diarrhea, most likely caused by norovirus.

The highly contagious virus is often called by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

Officials said norovirus usually circulates through the community every winter.

Officials said the most important steps to take to prevent becoming ill are to wash your hands often, especially before you eat, and to not share food with anyone you know to be sick. If you are sick, the best ways to prevent spreading your illness to others are to wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom, and to not prepare food for other people until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.

Med Drop Sites Added In Fitchburg, Sun Prairie

Med Drop Sites Added In Fitchburg, Sun Prairie

After collecting more than 2.5 tons of medicines at the pilot locations, Safe Communities has begun a collaboration with the cities of Fitchburg and Sun Prairie to give Dane County residents access to two additional year-round MedDrop box sites.

Unwanted medicines can now be dropped off in Fitchburg and Sun Prairie.

Dane County MedDrop Events Scheduled

Dane County MedDrop Events Scheduled

Poisoning has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in Dane County according to the latest statistics available from Public Health-Madison and Dane County.

By Taking the simple step of bringing your unwanted or unnecessary medications to area MedDrop events, residents can help curb what's been called an American epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control.

"Over 75 percent of Dane County poisonings were the result of drugs," said Cheryl Wittke, Safe Communities Director. "Young children, teens, seniors, everyone -- is safer if unnecessary medications are removed from the home. If medications are not available we expect to see a drop in accidental and intentional poisonings."