Whooping Cough Cases Reach Epidemic Levels In Much Of Washington - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ MD ALERT: Washington State Health Officials Urge Whooping Cough Vaccines

>>>CLICK HERE TO GET SYMPTONS FOR THE WHOOPING COUGH

SHORELINE, Wash. (AP) - Washington state health officials say whooping cough has reached epidemic levels in the state and are urging vaccines for all children and adults to help prevent the disease.

About 640 cases have been reported in 23 counties as of March 31, putting the state on track to have the highest number of reported cases in decades. There were 94 cases reported during the same period last year. No deaths have been reported this year.

Health Secretary Mary Selecky says they are concerned about the trend and want to stop it. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. Infants are particularly vulnerable.

State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes says many adults don't realize they need to be vaccinated or they assume they have been.

 PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - On Tuesday Secretary of Health Mary Selecky announced that whooping cough disease has reached epidemic levels in Washington. So far in 2012, 640 cases have been reported in 23 counties as of March 31. This compares to 94 cases during this same time period last year, putting Washington on-pace to have the highest number of reported cases in decades.

"We're very concerned about the continued rapid increase in reported cases," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "This disease can be very serious for young babies, who often get whooping cough from adults and other family members. We want all teens and adults who haven't had Tdap to be vaccinated to help protect babies that are too young for the vaccine."

Whooping cough vaccines are recommended for all children and adults. The shots children get wear off over time. Everyone age 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster, called Tdap. It's especially important for anyone who has close contact with babies younger than 12 months to get a dose of Tdap to help protect the baby from whooping cough. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, health care providers, and child care providers.

"Many adults don't realize they need to be vaccinated, or they assume they have been," said State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes. "We're asking everyone to verify with their health care provider that they're up-to-date on vaccines. We're also asking everyone to use good health manners — like cover your cough and stay home when you're sick — that will also help prevent spreading whooping cough."

Whooping cough (www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize/diseases/pertussis), also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. It affects people of all ages — but is most serious in infants, especially those too young to get vaccinated or who aren't fully protected. It causes cold-like symptoms followed by a long, severe cough (www.pkids.org/diseases/pertussis.html) that can last for weeks. Adolescents and adults often get a much milder case of whooping cough, but they can still spread it.

The Department of Health is introducing a new public service radio announcement this week reminding people how serious whooping cough can be and to get vaccinated. The spot features Secretary Selecky along with a Snohomish County Mom who talks about losing her newborn daughter to whooping cough. The radio announcement is on the agency's website (www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/sound/DOH_WA_WhoopingCough_30_329.asx) and will be shared with radio stations across the state.

We're working to raise awareness among health care providers about the epidemic, and providing advice on testing, who should be vaccinated, and treatment guidelines. We're also working closely with local health partners on disease tracking and monitoring to make sure we continue to have current information about the amount of disease in Washington. Weekly updates of case counts in counties throughout the state are posted online on Tuesday afternoons around three o'clock.

All recommended vaccines are offered at no cost to all kids under 19 through health care provider offices participating in the state's Childhood Vaccine Program. Health care providers may charge an office visit fee and a fee to give the vaccine, called an administration fee. People who cannot afford the administration fee can ask their regular health care provider if they'll waive that cost. Most health insurance carriers will cover the whooping cough vaccine; adults should double-check with their health plan.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:32 PM EST2018-11-13 18:32:25 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>
  • Spokane congressional candidate starts petition to abolish 'safe storage' gun initiative

    Spokane congressional candidate starts petition to abolish 'safe storage' gun initiative

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 2:07 PM EST2018-11-13 19:07:28 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane congressional candidate has petitioned the White House to abolish the recently passed Initiative 1639. The initiative, passed by voters last week, is a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations, particularly semiautomatic rifles. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane congressional candidate has petitioned the White House to abolish the recently passed Initiative 1639. The initiative, passed by voters last week, is a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations, particularly semiautomatic rifles. 

    >>
  • Passenger sustains broken bones in apparent DUI collision on Upriver Drive

    Passenger sustains broken bones in apparent DUI collision on Upriver Drive

    Wednesday, November 14 2018 12:49 AM EST2018-11-14 05:49:35 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police say a truck passenger sustained broken bones while the driver is set to face vehicular assault charges in an apparent DUI collision on Upriver Drive Tuesday night. Tuesday around 5:30 p.m., a driver in a truck was traveling westbound on Upriver Drive when they crossed over the center line.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police say a truck passenger sustained broken bones while the driver is set to face vehicular assault charges in an apparent DUI collision on Upriver Drive Tuesday night. Tuesday around 5:30 p.m., a driver in a truck was traveling westbound on Upriver Drive when they crossed over the center line.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/