Cases of whooping cough making a comeback in the US

Cases of whooping cough are making a comeback in the U.S.

Known officially as pertussis, the highly contagious respiratory infection causes severe bouts of coughing that mimic a whooping sound.

Despite a vaccine, health officials have seen a jump in the number of cases in recent decades.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were fewer than 2,000 cases in the U.S. in the 70s and 80s, but that jumped to over 48,000 cases in 2012. While those numbers are down from that peak, they are still not as low as when the vaccine was made available.

Studies of pertussis from the Journal of the American Medical Association, say unvaccinated children are contributing to outbreaks.

The symptoms of whooping cough can be serious in babies.

The CDC recommends babies get a series of shots with a combination vaccine, including for pertussis, beginning at two months of age.

They also recommend adults get a booster shot every ten years.