Officials Urge Getting a Whooping Cough Vaccine

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State health officials are advising adults and teenagers to get vaccines against whooping cough after the disease hit hard in Texas last year.

The Department of State Health Services launched a public education campaign this week urging the vaccines for pertussis -- also called whooping cough.

Officials say vaccinating teens and adults will help protect infants, who are the most vulnerable to the potentially deadly disease.

Last year, Texas reported 2,224 cases of whooping cough, marking the worst year for the disease since 1963.

Nine people died, including eight infants younger than 3 months.

Reported cases of the disease appear to be down this year.

Whooping cough got its name because of the loud "whoop" made by breaths drawn in by sufferers before fits of coughing.