Inside Opinion

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Tag: pertussis

July
25th

Scary CDC graph shows state’s whopping whooping cough increase

A great website to read about science, tech and science fiction is io9.com. One posting caught my eye with its headline: “This graph of whooping cough cases in Washington State should scare the crap out of you.” Here’s the link.

The Centers for Disease Control graph shows the 1300 percent increase in pertussis cases from early 2011 to June 16, 2012. While the nation is experiencing a pertussis epidemic, the incidence in Washington is far worse – more than seven times the national average. The likely reason: Washington’s high percentage of “antivaxxers” – parents who either don’t or

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April
4th

Adults must step up against whooping cough epidemic

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

That cough you hear could be a symptom of an epidemic that is gripping the state – whooping cough, or pertussis.

Fortunately, if diagnosed early, the highly contagious respiratory ailment – which is spread by coughing or sneezing – is easily treated with antibiotics. But it can be deadly to infants and has killed four babies in this state since 2010. Last year, 950 cases were reported in Washington. Already this year there have been 640, which puts the state on a pace for setting a modern record.

Those numbers are deceiving; health experts believe only about 10 to 12 percent of cases are reported.
To combat the epidemic, says the state Department of Health, almost all of us need to be immunized against it. Most children get the DTaP vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – although too many parents are opting their children out of the shot due to an unfounded fear of vaccines.
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