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Dr. Eilish Cleary, the province's chief medical officer of health, said as of Jan.1, both parents of a newborn baby are being inoculated for free against whooping cough if they are due for a vaccine.

New Brunswick is reporting an increase in whooping cough cases in the Moncton area, according to the province's chief medical officer.

Dr. Eilish Cleary said 14 cases of whooping cough have been diagnosed in Moncton in the last couple of months.

Cleary said the public health department intends to watch to see if more whooping cough cases continue to occur in the area.

"It's too soon to tell if this is a real increase and if it will continue because with these diseases you often get peaks and surges but we will keep an eye on this," Cleary said.

In 2009, there were a total of 15 cases province-wide.

Cleary said most of the patients who were recently diagnosed were between the ages of five and 15.

The public health officer said that's unusual, since whooping cough normally affects very young children.

As of January, both parents of a newborn baby are being inoculated for free if they are due for a vaccine.