Whooping cough cases skyrocket across the country

This has been a record year for the whooping cough across the United States, and health experts and officials are trying to educate adults on why they, as well as children, need the whooping cough vaccine.

According to Stacey Martin, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there's been more than 16,000 cases of whooping cough in 2012, compared to more than 15,000 in all of 2011.

While the experts say that whooping cough cases rise and fall depending on the year, it's still the adults that need to be vaccinated, so they don't carry the disease and transmit it to children, which can be more dangerous.

"It's obviously more dangerous for an infant to get it," Karyn Johnson, a public health educator, says. "It can be deadly for an infant, and for an adult they might not notice it being any different than a common cold."

David Martin, an Infection Preventionist at Crouse Hospital, says adults often don't know they have whooping cough, and that at times, they might be misdiagnosed with the common cold or bronchitis, causing the disease to spread more.

"The adult walks around and spreads it," Martin says. "And then you've got a little baby that hasn't been vaccinated who develops the illness, and they can get very sick."

Even if an adult has been diagnosed with whooping cough, Martin says, it is very treatable with antibiotics, which makes it harder to spread.

In Central New York, cases of whooping cough did go up at the beginning of the year, but are now declining once again.