The Southwest Health District says pertussis is being reported in Colquitt, Mitchell and Thomas counties.
Babies who are not vaccinated against pertussis bacteriacan develop complications which can sometimes be fatal.
The district is working with area schools and child care facilities, which are especially prone to see clusters of whooping cough, to keep it from spreading.
Symptoms begin with a runny or stuffed up nose, mild coughing, sneezing and – in infants – a pause in breathing. After one to two weeks, coughing becomes severe.
In some patients, the coughing fits result in the characteristic "whooping" sound, but not always. Babies with pertussis may not have coughing fits; instead they may gag, gasp, vomit, stop breathing or turn blue. Fever may also occur.