As mentioned in previous posts, the state of Washington is being hit hard by a whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis) epidemic since the beginning of 2012. As of today, over 2000 cases of pertussis have been reported, nearly a 12-fold increase over 2011. In fact, the outbreak is the largest for pertussis since the 1940’s before the whooping cough vaccine was widely available.
“We’re asking everyone to double-check with their health care provider to make sure they’re up-to-date on vaccinations. Our reported case count has climbed above 2,000 already with half of the year to go. It’s vital that teens and adults get the Tdap booster. Actually, our little babies are in the most danger. When they get a coughing fit, their throats close up on them, which is why they turn blue.”
The state has ordered over 27,000 doses of the Tdap vaccine (almost the same as DTaP vaccine, just different brand name), for lower income residents. Over 82,000 adult residents of the state have been vaccinated. Infected adults are the largest risk group for transmitting pertussis to infants who have not been vaccinated yet, or whose parents refuse to vaccinate them.
Washington state is attacking this outbreak with all of their resources including massive vaccination effort. Because, vaccines save lives. Period.
The New York Times is reporting that the State of Washington has been hit by a whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic that has hit 1,284 individuals in 2012, 10 times the 128 seen at this point in 2011. At this rate, there could be over 3000 cases by the end of 2012. Of those infected so far in 2012, 86 infants (under age of 1 year) required hospitalization, including 19 of whom were under 2 months. Pertussis immunization, with the DTaP vaccine, does not confer full immunity to the child until the third vaccination at 6 months of age, during which the infant is susceptible to catching the disease from adults with lapsed immunity or other children who are not vaccinated. However, even children with the first vaccination have some immunity, so the infection could be milder than in a child without any vaccination. Continue reading “Whooping cough: Washington State lacks funds to fight epidemic”
As discussed previously, the state of Washington is experience a relatively large outbreak of whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis), with 1,132 cases of whooping cough so far in 2012, which the state reports as over 10 times higher than what was reported in 2011. The epidemic has caused the hospitalization of 20 children under the age of one. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire released cash from an emergency fund last week to be spent on efforts to contain the epidemic. Gregoire has made $90,000 available to strengthen the public awareness campaign about the need to vaccinate against the highly infectious disease that is also known as pertussis. The state’s Department of Health projects that it will spend approximately $200,000 on the campaign. The state has also sought and received approval to use federal funds to purchase 27,000 doses of pertussis vaccines that will be available for the uninsured.