ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Whooping Cough Epidemic 2012

Updated on July 10, 2012
Whooping Cough Photo
Whooping Cough Photo

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious disease caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. Pertussis is one of the most common occurring vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. Pertussis can be serious, especially in infants too young to be vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends pertussis vaccinations for children, teens and adults (including pregnant women).

Washington State Whooping Cough Epidemic

Washington State has recently seen a spike in whooping cough cases. The CDC reports that there were 1, 484 documented cases of whooping cough statewide through May 12, 2012, compared to just 134 during the same time frame in 2011. The Washington State Department of Health reports an even higher number (currently at 2,092) and has labeled it a pertussis epidemic.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

Pertussis starts out like an ordinary cold. Sneezing, runny nose, congestion and mild coughing are common. Sometimes mild fever may be present. After one or two weeks, a severe cough presents itself. Pertussis can cause violent, rapid coughing that continues until the air is gone from the lungs, causing tthose affected to inhale with a loud whooping sound.

Who Gets Pertussis?

Anyone can get whooping cough because it’s an airborne disease. The disease is spread when infected people cough or sneeze while in close contact with others. Many people don’t even realize they have whooping cough and unknowingly spread the disease to family members, friends and coworkers.

Pertussis is most dangerous to infants. More than half of all infants under the age of 1, who get the disease, will need to be hospitalized and 1 in 5 end up with pneumonia.

Why the Resurgence in Whooping Cough?

The pertussis vaccine lasts only six to 10 years. Outbreaks cycle every three to five years and then reduce again, but the possibility of contracting whooping cough never really goes away. In order for the vaccine to be truly effective at least 92 to 94 percent of the population needs to be immunized and that simply doesn’t happen. That’s why the CDC recommends that older children and adults should be vaccinated.

Improperly Stored Vaccines

One final word on a disturbing study that was released just this month. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Department of Health and Human Services reported that both expired and unexpired vaccines were being stored together in some doctor’s offices and clinics. This can potentially lead to human error and result in medical personnel giving patients the wrong version of the drug. They also found some vaccines were being stored at above or below required temperatures, leading to the possibility of rendering medicines ineffective. This has lead some critics to question if this could possibly be the reason why certain diseases (including pertussis) are on the rise. The CDC has agreed to work directly with clinics and states to make sure medicines are being better managed.

Improper storage should be troubling to parents who rely heavily on free immunization clinics that store large amounts of vaccines. It should also be a cause for concern to tax payers as the improperly stored vaccines totaled nearly $370,000. The Vaccines for Children Program spent $3.6 billion in 2010 to give 82 million vaccines to some 40 million children. One has to wonder why restaurant food storage is more government regulated than vaccine medications given to our children.

The CDC has some valuable information and recommendations regarding pertussis vaccinations on their website.

**Are you a writer? Sign up here for a HubPages account and participate in a unique writing community with high earning potential.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • lovesleftovers profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Randy! You're right, whooping cough cases are on the rise again and it's important for the public to remain informed. Thanks again for your comment and vote :)

    • Randy M. profile image

      Randy McLaughlin 

      6 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      With the apparent resurgence of cases in Whooping Cough, this is a timely article. Voted up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)