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County says whooping cough is on the rise

CHARLOTTE — Mecklenburg County Public Health officials reported a rise in whooping cough cases.

There have been nine cases confirmed. All of them have been under the age of 17.

The infection causes severe coughing fits and is highly contagious, particularly for young children.

County health Director Dr. Raynard Washington said vaccination is the most effective way to prevent whooping cough.

“We are seeing isolated cases in Mecklenburg County and we want our residents to understand that pertussis is here, and we need to be cautious,” Washington said in a news release. “The increase in cases is an important reminder that vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent pertussis and reduce the severity of the disease. Unvaccinated people in the community create the opportunity for the disease to spread, even to vaccinated individuals.”