Home > Pestilence > ‘Epidemic’: Washington State Health Officials Now Seeking Help From CDC As Cases Of Whooping Cough Soars

‘Epidemic’: Washington State Health Officials Now Seeking Help From CDC As Cases Of Whooping Cough Soars


Here’s an update on this story reported last week …

By Associated Press – “SEATTLE — Washington state’s worst outbreak of whooping cough in decades has prompted health officials to declare an epidemic, seek help from federal experts and urge residents to get vaccinated amid worry that cases of the highly contagious disease could spike much higher.

It’s the first state to declare a whooping cough, or pertussis, epidemic since 2010, when California had more than 9,000 cases, including 10 deaths. Washington has had 10 times the cases reported in 2011, and so has Wisconsin with nearly 2,000 cases this year, though that state has not declared an epidemic.

California responded to its crisis two years ago with a public information campaign, readily available vaccines and a new law requiring a booster shot for middle- and high-school students. Doctors were urged to spot whooping cough early, send infected babies to the hospital and promptly treat those diagnosed. In 2011, the number of cases there dropped significantly.

In Washington, about 1,280 cases have been reported in 2012, and officials believe the state could see as many as 3,000 cases by year’s end. Health Secretary Mary Selecky declared the epidemic April 3, and since then officials have bought up the vaccine and made it available for free for people who don’t have insurance.

State officials have asked hospitals to vaccinate every adult who goes home with a new baby, and urged businesses to encourage their employees to get the adult booster shot. Washington already requires a booster shot for middle- and high-school students.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence
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