TYLER (KYTX) - The potentially deadly disease pertussis, or whooping cough, is on track to reach the highest level in Texas in more than 50 years.
That's according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department is reporting nearly 2,000 cases so far and two deaths in Texas infants- a scary thought for moms like Alvanetta Williams.
"Because there's so much sickness going on." she says.
But, she says knowing her daughter is vaccinated gives her peace of mind.
"It was just very important for her to get her shots and everything."
Health experts are also warning parents to get a booster vaccine.
"As we grow older, things like pertussis vaccine- the antibodies tend to fade. And so, it's a good idea, once you hit 19 years of age or older, that you have that redone." says Tyler pharmacist David Davis.
He says you should especially get vaccinated if you work closely with children or if you're expecting one in the family.
"It's always recommended that if you've got a new infant coming into the home, that you get vaccinated if you haven't been vaccinated so you don't pass pertussis on to that infant."
He says infants are most at risk for contracting whooping cough because they can't fight it off or catch their breath as easily as older children and adults.
Health experts say you should get your children vaccinated as early as two months old.
Whooping cough usually starts out with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough. If your symptoms start getting worse or you develop a wheezing sound when you cough, or can't catch your breath, it's time to see a doctor.