LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Health officials in Michigan are urging residents to get vaccinated against whooping cough and influenza to help protect themselves and infants.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is one of the most commonly occurring vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S.

On Monday, the department and others joined in an effort to promote vaccinations.

Michigan mother Veronica McNally said she her 3-month-old daughter Francesca to Pertussis because first her cough and then her sons cough was not diagnosed by doctors.  Even when daughter came down with the cough, the pediatrician said they should wait to see if it got worse. It did get worse and she took her to the emergency room.

“Francesca was admitted into the pediactirc intensive care unit at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and she died just a few days later,” McNally said.

In Michigan, there has been an increase in pertussis throughout the past decade, with a peak of more than 1,500 reported cases in 2010. This year in Michigan, there have been nearly 600 reported pertussis cases as of Sept. 30. And Michigan already has seen 12 seasonal flu cases.

During the 2010-11 flu season, there were six influenza-associated Michigan pediatric deaths. Currently, flu activity nationwide is increasing.

Health experts say even if your child is to young for the vaccine, it’s important to vaccinate everyone else, creating a “circle of protection.”

For more information about vaccinations in Michigan, including pertussis and flu, visit and

To read more about Francesca’s story, visit

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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