14% increase in WA whooping cough cases - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

14% increase in WA whooping cough cases

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The number of whooping cough cases in Washington is up 14 percent.

The state Health Department says 431 cases have been reported so far this year, compared with 378 at this time last year.

The department says pertussis is especially dangerous for babies, who are too young to be vaccinated. This year, 58 infants under 1-year-old have been diagnosed. Of those 22 have been hospitalized and two have died.

The first symptoms are like the common cold, but it can turn into severe coughing, with a high-pitched whoop in some cases.