A dramatic rise in the number of people with whooping cough in Scotland has been revealed.
In the first 48 weeks of 2012, laboratory testing confirmed 1,704 cases of whooping cough.
This is 17 times the total for the same period of 2011 when 99 cases were recorded.
Young children are the most likely to develop complications from the disease which can require hospital treatment and can prove fatal in the most severe cases.
The Health Protection Scotland figures reveal that 130 of the confirmed cases were of babies under the age of one, of which 69% were of those younger than three months.
Newborn children cannot normally be vaccinated until they are at least eight weeks old.
In response to what is the worst outbreak of the disease since the 1980s, a temporary programme to immunise pregnant women against whooping cough was introduced. By vaccinating mothers-to-be, it is believed they will pass on some short-term immunity to their babies when they are born.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We know that whooping cough is highly contagious and it can be most serious for young babies under the age of one.
"Over recent months we have seen an increase in cases of whooping cough which is why we introduced a vaccination programme for pregnant women to give newborn babies the protection they need. It's also important that parents ensure their children are vaccinated through the Childhood Vaccination Programme to help stop further spread of the virus."
No deaths have been recorded in relation to whooping cough, also known as pertussis, for 2012.