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.