More cases of whooping cough have been reported around New Jersey.

The Asbury Park Press reports the Monmouth County Health Department and Monmouth Regional Health Commission are aware of 3 cases but the agencies offered no details about the cases.

Parents of Freehold Township High School students were notified via a letter from Principal Elizabeth A. Higley of two reported cases at the school, and urged to keep students who displayed symptoms home, according to the newspaper

"If your child comes down with cold symptoms that include a cough, talk to your child's health care provider immediately. Tell the health care provider that pertussis has been identified at your child's school," Higley reportedly wrote.

The Ocean County Health Department reported three cases of whooping cough in Lakewood.

The Centers for Disease Control considers whooping cough, also known as pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory disease. which causes uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe.

"After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a 'whooping' sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old," writes the CDC.

The best prevention against whooping cough is the vaccine DTap, combination vaccine that helps protect against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. according to the CDC.

Symptoms are often cold-like and begin with a mild cough or fever and can include a runny nose, low-grade fever and a a mild, occasional cough. In babies, it can cause a pause in breathing called an apnea, according to the CDC. The fits of coughing, vomiting and exhaustion after the coughing fits come as the disease progresses. Recovery from whooping cough is slow.