FAIRFIELD - With schools already on alert after the recent outbreak of swine flu, whooping cough is a new cause for concern in southwestern Connecticut.

Darien school officials say there are two suspected cases of whooping cough in the district. However, the state health department has not cofirmed this information.

The communicable illness affects an individual's breathing ability and is also believed to cause pneumonia.

"Initially you have a runny nose, your energy may be down, fatigued," Doctor Kilbourn Gordon says. "About a week later the whooping or spasms of coughing [continue]."

Doctors say that the bacterial illness can be treated and responds well with antibiotics. They also recommend that parents make sure that their child has been given a booster shot.