The Fayette County Health Department is reporting cases of pertussis in central Kentucky.
Health officials are wanting to get the word out because pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness.
Staff at the health department confirm that two people have pertussis and that there are seven more cases with similar symptoms. They are waiting on lab results for official confirmation.
Pertussis or whooping cough is spread by coughing and sneezing. It is treated with antibiotics. The vaccination is required for school aged children.
Anyone can get the illness, but cases are most serious in infants. It is recommended that pregnant women and new parents get the Tdap vaccine, which lasts for ten years.
"It's a cough that doesn't go away. After one or two weeks, if you still have that persistent cough,you generally see it get worse. It's a general sign of it actually being pertussis or whopping cough," said Kevin Hall, LFCHD communication officer.
Health officials tell say that in Fayette County, whooping cough is rare. Since 2005, there have only 25 cases here.