SAN ANTONIO -

The latest numbers from the Texas Department of Health Services are showing that whooping cough is on track to reach its highest level in more than 50 years.

The whooping cough, also known as Pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes violent coughing.

According to the Texas Department of Health, there have been almost 2,000 cases so far this year.

"This is something that we have identified as a concern," said Dr. Anil Mangla, chief of epidemiology at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. "We are working very close with all the hospitals and all the private providers. If we continue at this rate, we are going to see a doubling of what we had last year."

In Bexar County, there were 23 identified cases in 2011; 66 in 2012; and so far, 70 in 2013.

However, Mangla said it is preventable, which is why he said infants should get all their vaccinations at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months.

"We want to make sure that we are sending the message out that all parents make sure that your child gets fully vaccinated," said Mangla.

Texas MedClinic Chief Operating Officer Dr. David Gude said their doctors really haven't seen patients coming in with the whooping cough because most of their patients tend to be adults and not infants.

However, while infants are most at risk for the disease, adults can get it and pass it on too.

Gude said currently, there are a lot of adults who haven't been vaccinated because the adult dose wasn't available until the last seven years.

"The adults who get it are not the ones that are at risk and that I think was the logic at the time, not vaccinating adults for many years," said Gude. "But the problem with that logic is that adults take care of small children and that is a population at risk."

The CDC recommends that anyone spending a lot of time around an infant get vaccinated, including: moms and dads, grandparents, siblings and even daycare providers.

Mangla said while Pertussis can be treated, parents have to seek medical help quickly if their infant shows signs of the disease.

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