21 whooping cough cases in Hamilton County

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- An increase in the number of whooping cough cases has manifested itself in Chattanooga.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department said it has documented 21 cases so far this year. That is one fewer than found in the last five years combined.

Pertussis -- the clinical name for the disease -- can be especially serious for young children and infants who may not have had all their vaccinations. Sixteen of the cases in Hamilton county have been found in children under six years of age.

Tennessee Department of Health records show there have been 132 confirmed cases statewide through Aug. 25.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 46 states are reporting more cases of pertussis this year than the year before.

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