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Whooping Cough Cases on the Rise in Kentucky

Jennifer Morrow/Creative Commons

Kentucky health officials are reporting a rise in pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

By the end of 2015, the state had 87 known cases of the respiratory disease. Teresa Casey, who works in communicable diseases with the Barren River District Health Department in Bowling Green, said whooping cough can be especially dangerous for infants.

Infants should be vaccinated against whooping cough starting at two months of age. Because the disease is highly contagious, it's important for adults — especially parents and caregivers — to be up to date on immunizations, Casey said.

The highest concentration of cases has occurred in Jefferson County and the Northern Kentucky region.

Casey said some groups of people with serious ailments are more at risk than others. Those conditions include cystic fibrosis, asthma, and severe heart disease.