Unlike in 2009, during which pertussis hit Central Texas particularly hard, the cases are fairly spread out this year, according to Van Deusen.
The higher numbers of infections this year are not necessarily unexpected as the disease has cyclical upswings as people develop immunity and that immunity wears off, Van Deusen said.
“This may just be a peak year,” Van Deusen said.
Over the last 20 to 30 years, the state has seen an upward trend in pertussis cases, likely a result of better awareness and reporting by parents and doctors, as well as better testing, according to TDSHS.
Last year, six deaths were reported due to whooping cough in Texas.
TDSHS recommends that pertussis vaccinations be kept current, any baby with a coughing illness be seen by their doctor as soon as possible and those suspected of having pertussis stay home until they’ve completed five days of appropriate antibiotic therapy.