Whooping cough alert in Lubbock

Whooping cough alert in Lubbock (file photo)

The Lubbock Health Department issued a public health advisory about the rise of pertussis on Wednesday. Officials said in a press release, there has been an increase in the number of pertussis cases reported this fall.

Medical providers and the community are told to take precautions to protect against the bacterial infection.

Health officials say pertussis, which is more commonly known as whooping cough, can cause serious illness in young children because it can interrupt their breathing. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, most babies under the age of 1-years-old who get infected must be hospitalized. State health services points out, of those infants who are hospitalized with pertussis, about 1 in 5 get pneumonia, 1 in 100 will have convulsions, half will have apnea, 1 in 300 will have encephalopathy and 1 in 100 will die.

People are most contagious when they have cold-like symptoms during the first two weeks. It can spread when a person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Health officials warn to keep babies less than six months old away from people with a cough.

More information about pertussis can be found at