Colorado health officials are urging residents to look into making sure you and your children's vaccinations are up to date for whooping cough (pertussis), as cases of the illness are skyrocketing in the state.

According to the Denver Post, last year was the worst year on record for whooping cough in Colorado with 1,494 cases. This we're we're already at 1,116 with a month and a half left in the year. There have been over 100 new cases i the state in the past two weeks.

'It’s recommended that children and adults get vaccinated, but especially those who take care of infants,' said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, medical director of the health department’s immunization section. 'Infants are too young to receive the vaccine themselves and have a higher risk of hospitalization and death due to pertussis.'

What is whooping cough?

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a contagious disease that can cause a prolonged and sometimes severe cough illness. It is caused by the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis, and is found in the nose and throat of an infected person. An infected person has cough episodes that may end in vomiting or cause a "whoop" sound when the person breathes in air. Pertussis can occur at any age but severe illness is more common in infants and young children who have not been immunized.

Stay healthy out there!

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