SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil says there's an increase in cases of pertussis or whooping cough in New Mexico.
Vigil said Tuesday that families and children can protect themselves by getting immunized. Vaccines are free for children in New Mexico, regardless of whether a family has health insurance.
Children with no insurance coverage can get vaccine at a local public health office.
Pertussis is a bacterial respiratory infection and is highly contagious.
The Department of Health says there have been 96 cases of whooping cough reported so far this year, with half of those since August.
In 2009, there were 94 cases and 85 in 2008.