SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Doctors at Rady Children's Hospital are urging expectant mothers to get vaccinated for pertussis, or whooping cough.
They say pertussis is hitting San Diego County hard, with more than 500 cases seen since the beginning of the year. That's more than all of the cases in 2013.
Young babies are at the highest risk for pertussis, and can die from it. That's why doctors encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated early.
"There are significant benefits to the newborn when the mother is vaccinated during her pregnancy rather than after she delivers," Ava Schmitz of Rady Children's Hospital said.
Doctors say whooping cough is treatable, but it spreads very quickly and is extremely contagious.