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Seven cases of whooping cough have been reported in Catawba County during 2012, including three open cases.
The news comes in the wake of a weekend report that 122 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, has been reported in Alamance County since December 2011.
Statewide 126 cases of whooping cough were reported during 2011.
Catawba County Public Health used the spike in whooping cough cases to remind county residents that pertussis vaccines can be obtained at no charge at the health department.
"With three open cases in Catawba County and pertussis on the rise across the state, it is an important reminder that the vaccine is free, and it is a good time to get it," said Kelly Schermerhorn, public information officer for Catawba County Public Health.
To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.