The Georgia Department of Public Health announced the eight-county metropolitan Atlanta area has seen an increase in pertussis or whooping cough.
The health department is warning parents that small children are most at risk for the disease and all adolescents, teens, and adults should make sure they're updated on the appropriate booster shots.
Jacqueline Jenkins, an epidemiologist with the Southwest Georgia Health District 8 Office, says there have been three confirmed cases of whopping cough in the district with the most recent case reported in a 2-month-old only
Jenkins says children should begin the series of immunizations at 2 months so newborns are most at risk for contracting the disease.
"Pertussis is a very serious disease and it's most serious in our most vulnerable population, our children," said Jenkins.
Common symptoms resemble a cold with high temperatures and a cough, but after a few weeks more severe symptoms may begin like coughing attacks with gasping breaths, pneumonia and possible death if let untreated.
Jenkins says all new parents are required to be told about whooping cough and the proper shots for it while in the hospital.
If around a newborn, Jenkins says those who have not been immunized or aren't updated on boosters should ask their doctor about being vaccinated.