Whooping cough cases climb in Texas

Whooping cough cases climb in Texas

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Pharmacist Kristy Hennessee administers a vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis), at a Walgreen's Pharmacy in Pasadena, California on September 17, 2010. Australia on Thursday warned travellers to the United States to watch out for a whooping cough epidemic which has claimed of nine babies in California. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK

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by Matt Goodman

Associated Press

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM

AUSTIN (AP) –– Texas health officials say the number of people sick with whooping cough statewide is on track to reach the highest level in more than 50 years.

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Tuesday urged people to make sure they are vaccinated against the highly contagious disease that causes a severe cough.

There have been almost 2,000 cases reported so far this year, with the annual total likely to surpass the recent high of 3,358 cases in 2009. Two infants have died from whooping cough this year. Both were too young to be vaccinated.

Whooping cough spreads easily through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. While infants are most at risk, people of all ages can get whooping cough.

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