The City of Lubbock Health Department warns of an increase in Pertussis across the state.

According to a press release from the City, the Health Department has confirmed 12 cases of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, since January. Nine of those have been reported since July 22nd, and they are currently working on more reports that are not yet confirmed.

There were 10 total reported cases of Pertussis for the City of Lubbock in 2012.

Pertussis is spread by infected persons coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. It can cause serious illness in children and adults.

The malady begins like the common cold, with runny nose or congestion, sneezing, and sometimes mild cough or fever. The cough worsens and becomes severe after one to two weeks.

Children with the illness cough violently and rapidly until the air is gone from their lungs, and inhale with a loud “whooping” sound.

Antibiotic treatment is important for infected people and their close contact.

The City says that the best way to prevent Pertussis is to get vaccinated, though vaccinated persons can still come down with the illness.

Anyone who suspects that they or a family member has Pertussis is urged to contact their health care practitioner.