RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The Centers for Disease Control report that cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have reached epidemic proportions.
In fact, the CDC finds children are most likely to contract the disease before the age of six months, when vaccinations become available.
Adults can get whooping cough, too, but are more likely to carry it and spread it to small children. A booster shot is available for adults as a preventative.
In 2011, more cases of whooping cough were diagnosed than any other year since before 1970. It was the highest amount of cases diagnosed since a vaccine was released. Doctors say that 2012 is on track to have more cases than 2011.
The CDC says that the symptoms of the whooping cough can be made less severe if treated early.