Health officials say there is an epidemic in the state of Texas.

Over the past two weeks about 2,000 people have been diagnosed with Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, across the state. 

Carol Baker, M.D. the Executive Director of the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children's and Hospital Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine spoke with KTRH about the alarming numbers.     Dr. Baker explained that "the numbers of cases is such, outstripping the number that we've seen over the past 50 years to date." 

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects babies along with people all ages, and it can only be spread from human to human.   Dr. Baker said it is difficult to pin point one particular cause for the epidemic, but there are many factors that could have lead up to the alarming number of cases.

One of reason Dr. Baker mentions is "the current vaccine is the best ever, but it does not last as long as the older vaccine."  Some people are walking around unprotected which can lead to them being infected and infecting others. 

Studies show that less than 10 percent of adults are vaccinated for Pertussis.  Dr. Baker said that as of "2006 it was recommended that all adults and adolescents get the vaccine."

Dr. Baker advises parents to contact their children and teens’ primary care physician to make sure they are up to date on shots.   

She says vaccines are the best form of protection and recommends the CDC's website to get more information on vaccination guidelines.

Doctors aren't the only ones who distribute vaccines, local pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens also distribute them for a reasonable price.