MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Health officials in Mobile say there's been an alarming recent rise in the number of whooping cough cases in the area.
Whooping cough, the common name for pertussis, is highly contagious. Those infected experience uncontrollable violent coughing that can make it hard to breathe.
Local media reports say the Mobile County Health Department has recorded 18 cases, 10 of which have been confirmed, between May 25 and June 11. Multiple other possible cases were being investigated.
There were just eight confirmed and probable cases in the county last year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pertussis is most common in babies and young children and can be deadly, especially for those under a year old.
Immunization is the best way to protect against pertussis.