Parents are being urged to get their children immunised against whooping cough following news that the number of cases in the West Midlands has nearly doubled since 2004.
In September, health experts in Sandwell reported four cases in a fortnight of the disease , which can be fatal in babies under a year old.
Now Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust has diagnosed a handful of babies with whooping cough, pushing the number of cases across the region to 74 so far this year. Last year, there was a total of 48 cases in the West Midlands.
C o n s u l t a n t paediatrician Dr Abraha Derso, the PCT's lead clinician for immunisation, said: "The best way to protect children is to ensure they are fully immunised.
"This is done through a course of injections, given as part of the 'five-in-one' vaccination at two, three and four months old, plus a pre-school booster jab between the ages of three-and-a-half and five years old."
Whooping cough, or pertussis, can cause long bouts of coughing and choking which make it hard for a child to breathe and can last up to ten weeks.
It was not usually serious in older children but can be fatal, in babies under 12 months.
Parents of any child born before 1996 are recommended to check with their GP or health visitor that they are fully protected.