ABILENE, Texas -

The number of people getting vaccinations for the sometimes deadly disease Pertussis – or “whooping cough” – in Texas has gone down, increasing the occurrence of the disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there were 50,000 reported cases of the respiratory infection around the U.S. in 2012. That made it the worst year of the disease since 1955, when 63,000 cases were reported.

The disease affects adults and children but is more dangerous in infants under six months of age.

“It’s the little babies, the infants that don’t have any immunity…” said Kay Durilla, nursing program manager at the Abilene Taylor County Health District. “… They can have the complications and even death resulting from the Pertussis.”

Symptoms of the disease can include sneezing, runny nose, fever, difficulty breathing and an uncontrollable cough.

There have been no reported cases of the disease in Abilene so far this year, but Durilla recommends getting vaccinations for your family before it is too late.

“The immunity wanes the longer we don’t have the vaccine,” Durilla said, “so now they have come up with a new booster vaccine for us called T-dap.”

The CDC says to give everyone in your family, especially infants and those constantly in contact with infants.

It should be administered to children at the ages of 2, 4, 6 and 15 months.

The shot should be administered again at age 4, and a booster shot given at age 11.

Adults will only need to get one shot every 10 years.

If you would like to get your family vaccinated or have questions, you can do so at:

The Abilene Taylor County Health District

850 N 6th St

(325) 692-5600

M,T,Th, F – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.