Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth is holding a public forum on vaccines Tuesday evening.

FALMOUTH, Maine - Maine's status as the state with the highest rate of whooping cough in the country is worsening, due to an uptick in the number of cases of the disease this year.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Maine had a surge of pertussis, or whooping cough, cases in January, according to a Center for Disease Control surveillance report. Fifty-five cases were reported, which is more than double the five year median of 24.

FALMOUTH, Maine - Three school districts across Maine say they've received reports of students diagnosed with whooping cough.

Doctors in York County are encouraging patients to be up-to-date on vaccines in the wake of a number of outbreaks of pertusssis, or whooping cough, in the county in recent months.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine health officials continue to combat the state's high rate of whooping cough with the new vaccine mandate.
The Portland Press Herald reports that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is requiring incoming seventh-grade public school students to receive a second dose of Tdap, a vaccine that protects against tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria. Maine has one of the highest rates of pertussis - a contagious respiratory disease - in the country.