The 1950s are back. No, not poodle skirts and doo wop, but a distinctive cough and the disease that causes it. CDC officials are concerned about a sharp rise in the number of cases of whooping cough. There have been 18,000 cases diagnosed this year, more than double last year’s pace, and on track to be the worst year for the disease since 1959, when 40,000 cases were diagnosed. Only recently, under 5,000 was the normal number of diagnoses in a given year.
Epidemiologists have not definitively determined the cause this surge and see no sign of the trend abating. Some possible causes include a mutation in the bacteria which causes the infection, a change in the vaccine’s formulation in the 1990s, and increasing numbers of parents foolishly refusing to vaccinate their children. The last, if the cause, illustrates the danger that those who fail to immunize their children are placing them, and the rest of us, in. Whatever the reason, a disease that was once nearly eradicated is on the comeback trail. A sobering thought.
- Whooping cough cases increase in South Florida (miamiherald.com)
- Whooping cough more than a Washington problem, says CDC (king5.com)
- WHY IS WHOOPING COUGH raging in Utah? “The overwhelming majority of pertussis cases in 2010 and in … (pjmedia.com)