Gregoire eyes new action to curb whooping cough

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire is taking new action to curb the spread of whooping cough.

Gregoire and Secretary of Health Mary Selecky will announce new plans Thursday in Tacoma. Health officials say the state is on pace to reach more than 3,000 whooping cough cases for the year, and they are urging people to get vaccinated.

That's a level that hasn't been seen in decades.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. Infants are particularly vulnerable to whooping cough because they can't be immunized before 4 to 6 weeks