CDC: Whooping cough cases may be most in 5 decades - New York News

CDC: Whooping cough cases may be most in 5 decades

Posted: Updated:

By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - Health officials say the nation is on track to have the worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades.

Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far - more than twice the number seen at this point last year. At this pace, the number of whooping cough cases will surpass every year since 1959.

"There is a lot of this out there, and there may be more coming to a place near you," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Wisconsin and Washington state each have reported more than 3,000 cases, and high numbers have been seen in a number of other states, including New York, Minnesota, Kansas and Arizona.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. It leads to severe coughing that causes children to make a distinctive whooping sound as they gasp for breath. In rare cases it can be fatal, and nine children have died so far this year.

Children get vaccinated against whooping cough in five doses, with the first shot at age 2 months and the final one between 4 and 6 years. Then a booster is recommended around age 11. The vaccine's protection does wane and health officials have debated moving up the booster shot.

The CDC is urging adults and especially pregnant women to get vaccinated so they don't spread it to infants who are too young to get the vaccine.

Whooping cough used to cause hundreds of thousands of illnesses a year but cases fell after a vaccine was introduced in the 1940s. Starting in the late 1960s, fewer than 5,000 cases were reported annually in the United States, for a stretch of about 25 years. But the numbers started to rise in the 1990s.

Online: www.cdc.gov

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:37:51 GMT
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
  • NYC police investigating body in plastic container

    NYC police investigating body in plastic container

    Police in New York City are questioning a suspect after discovering a dead body stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container.
    Police in New York City are questioning a suspect after discovering a dead body stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container.
  • Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:00:18 GMT
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices