(AP) — Kentucky health officials are reporting an increased number of whooping cough cases in the state.
Health officials reported 87 cases between August and December of last year. The state Department for Public Health says the highest concentration of cases occurred in Jefferson County and northern Kentucky.
Officials say the highly contagious respiratory disease is caused by bacteria. They say it is transmitted through respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing or talking.
Officials say the disease can be prevented by vaccination.
They say whooping cough can be deadly for infants too young to have been fully vaccinated, so it's important for parents and caregivers of young children to be up-to-date on immunizations.
Officials say a series of vaccines is available for children. Teens and adults should be protected with a booster.