About 50 more cases of whooping cough have been reported in the Fraser Valley, bringing the total in the region to 250 over the last few months.

Dr Mark Bigham with the Fraser Health Authority says the disease continues to spread across the region and dozens of cases have also been confirmed in Metro Vancouver.

"The outbreak in Fraser Health started in the eastern part, upper Fraser Valley around the Hope area in early December and since then it's been moving west and over the last couple of months we are seeing cases throughout the Fraser Health region," said Bigham.

Whooping cough is a contagious disease that causes severe coughing that may last for months and can be a serious illness in young children and babies, who have smaller airways.

Bigham said doctors are concerned because they say the actual numbers of the highly infectious respiratory disease are likely much higher.

Free vaccines are being offered for children, pregnant women and their partners, as well as anyone who has contact with children under 18 months of age. Details are avaliable by calling HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.