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Whooping Cough Epidemic Continues into 2013

December 27, 2012

The whooping cough epidemic that has plagued Washington in 2012 has slowed, but it will continue into the New Year. Governor Gregoire declared the pertussis epidemic in April of this year.

So far, there have been a total of 4,717 cases reported statewide through December 22, compared to 806 reported in 2011 during the same time period. 590 new cases were reported December 16-22

This year, Washington has seen the most cases of whooping cough in more than 70 years.
As of the 22nd, Grays Harbor has seen 24 reported cases of whooping cough so far this year, while Pacific County has seen 7.

Only Garfield County has reported no pertussis activity in 2012.

One infant who tested positive for pertussis during December has died. Though the child’s brief illness did not meet the clinical definition which requires a cough of 2 weeks duration, the death is considered to have been due to pertussis.

Some areas of the state are still seeing high numbers while others have slowed to pre-epidemic levels.

The number of people getting their booster shots has also increased this year.

Health officials say whooping cough vaccines are recommended for all kids and adults. Kids under seven should get a series of five DTaP vaccines. Kids aged 7 to 10 years who aren’t fully vaccinated against whooping cough and everyone aged 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster, called Tdap.


Categories: Harbor News
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