Big spike in Washington whooping cough cases concerns health officials


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SEATTLE — State health officials say they're concerned about a big increase in whooping cough cases this year compared to 2014.

KOMO-TV in Seattle reports ( ) that so far in 2015, the Washington State Department of Health says there have been 319 cases of whooping cough reported, compared with 49 reported cases during the same time in 2014.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a serious disease that affects the respiratory system and is spread by coughing and sneezing.

Authorities say it's important for people to get vaccinated - especially pregnant women.

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