NHS Sussex has issued a warning about the rising cases of whooping cough across the county.

It is urging people at risk, including babies, young children and pregnant women, to get vaccinated against the bacterial infection, known as pertussis.

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A spokesman for NHS Sussex said: "It spreads very easily and can cause serious problems for babies and young children.

"If you are pregnant, you can help protect your baby by getting vaccinated."

Vaccinations can be booked through local GPs or maternity services.

The first symptoms of the infection are similar to having a cold, however these can develop into severe coughing fits.

Signs of the infection include a distinctive "whoop" sound when coughing which sounds like a gasping for breath.

Some people also have difficulty breathing.

Children under six months with whooping cough are at an increased risk of dehydration, breathing difficulties, pneumonia and seizures.

While whooping cough is less severe in older children and adults, it can still cause complications such as sore ribs, hernias and ear infections.

The NHS said hospital treatment is often required for severe cases of whooping cough, however most people can be treated with antibiotics.