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Whooping Cough on the Rise in Bernalillo Co.

SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Health says they’re seeing a significant increase in the number of pertussis cases in Bernalillo County.

Pertussis is a serious bacterial respiratory infection that’s highly contagious. It’s also known as whooping cough due to the distinctive “whoop” sound that some people make after a fit of coughing.

Health officials said Wednesday that they’ve identified twice as many cases than the most recent five-year average for Bernalillo County.

They’re encouraging adolescents and adults to get the booster vaccine so they don’t get sick and pass the disease to others, particularly young infants who are the most vulnerable to serious complications.

DOH has identified 144 cases of pertussis statewide. Of those cases, 87 have been in Bernalillo County and some have investigated at several schools and preschools.