LISTEN: 'Hard to breathe': Gladstone dad passes on 'horrible' disease to son

TODAY is day 37 of the horrid infection that has plagued Gladstone's Anton Guinea and, more recently, his son, Zac: whooping cough.

Mr Guinea, known for his eloquent speeches and business presentations, has a rough cough and phlegm constantly stuck in his throat.

Anton and Zac Guinea have whooping cough.
Anton and Zac Guinea have whooping cough. Tegan Annett

He wants Gladstone residents to know the infection is around. And it is very contagious.

Unaware he had the disease, Mr Guinea passed it on to his 17-year-old son.

Now they're both on the mend, taking vitamins daily and seeking help from a naturopath.

In central Queensland this year there have been 38 reported cases of the bacterial disease, up from 23 in the same time last year.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service public health unit director Kerryn Coleman said whooping cough could be life threatening for babies and young children.

She said sufferers could have severe coughing fits with "high-pitched crowing, the whoop, as air is drawn back into the chest".

Mr Guinea said it was the worst sickness he had experienced.

And he does not have high hopes of curbing it any time soon, saying he has at least "60 days left".

"It's horrible, absolutely horrible," Mr Guinea said.

"It's hard to breathe at times and hard to talk."

Mr Guinea was sick for two weeks before he saw his doctor and found out it was the dreaded whooping cough.

The illness often begins with cold-like symptoms and these worsen to a severe cough.

Vaccination is the most important way to reduce whooping cough and it provides good protection to young children.

Ms Coleman said it was also important for women to get a pertussis vaccine in the third trimester of every pregnancy to protect their newborn baby.

LISTEN: Mr Guinea explains the day he started to get sick: