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Whooping Cough Cases Rise in N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Doctors in New Mexico are seeing a record number of whooping cough cases, according to KOB-TV.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, there were 149 suspected cases in 2010, a number that jumped to 275 last year, and there are 299 suspected cases of whooping cough so far this year, with five months left to go in 2012, the station reported.

A baby in San Miguel County died from the disease, health officials said.

Nearly 70 percent of this year’s cases have turned up in Bernalillo and Valencia counties, and higher numbers are being reported in Santa Fe and San Miguel counties, KOB-TV reported.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious disease that can cause serious respiratory problems in anyone, but babies are most at risk, according to Eyewitness News 4.

Doctors with the University of New Mexico Department of Pediatrics say signs of whooping cough in babies include vomiting after coughing and that infants may turn red or blue and may even stop breathing for short periods of time, KOB-TV said.

For more information on whooping cough, go to the New Mexico Department of Health website.