- Last Updated: 5:50 AM, July 20, 2012
- Posted: 2:12 AM, July 20, 2012
ATLANTA — Health officials say the nation is on track to have the worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades.
Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far — more than twice last year’s total. At this pace, the number of whooping-cough cases will surpass every year since 1959.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. It causes kids to make a “whooping” sound as they gasp for breath.
Health officials are urging adults — especially pregnant women — to get vaccinated so they don’t spread it to infants who are too young to be given the vaccine.