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Freshman GOP Rep. Curbelo Diagnosed With Whooping Cough

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo has been diagnosed with whooping cough.

The freshman Republican has been ill for several weeks with the disease. He was diagnosed on Monday.

The rare and contagious disease, that's officially known as pertussis, has largely been quelled in the U.S. through vaccination.

Curbelo, from Miami, was vaccinated as a child, his office says, but did not received recommended booster shots as an adult. He was probably contagious in early- to mid-July but no longer is so.

The disease is typically marked by a severe cough that is often followed by a deep breath that sounds like "whoop." It has a reputation as a childhood disease but now more often strikes teenagers and adults whose immunity has faded.

"I want to use this opportunity to remind parents to vaccinate their children against this dangerous infection," Curbelo said in a statement. "Adults should be aware that booster shots are necessary in order to maintain the vaccine's effectiveness."

Curbelo won a close House election last year to unseat one-term Rep. Joe Garcia in a bad year for Democrats. His race next year is one of the relatively few in the nation considered a tossup by Washington prognosticators.

The Capitol physician's office has referred Curbelo's case to the Washington, D.C., health department.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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