KENTUCKY (KFVS) - The number of cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, closed out last year on the rise in Kentucky.
The Commonwealth's health department reported 87 diagnoses of the illness between August and December of 2015.
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by bacteria and is transmitted through respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing or talking.
The vaccine-preventable disease can be deadly to infants too young to have been fully vaccinated, so it's especially important for parents and caregivers of young children to be up-to-date on immunizations.
The highest concentration of cases occurred in Jefferson County and the Northern Kentucky region.
Kentuckians of all ages have been affected.
The illness is also particularly dangerous for pregnant women and anyone with a pre-existing health condition that could worsen with a severe cough.
More information about whooping cough can be found here.