Whooping cough on the rise in Washington, at epidemic levels

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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Whooping cough is at an epidemic level in Washington state, with nearly 400 reported cases so far this year.

The Seattle Times reports that as of Saturday there have been 387 cases this year, compared to 85 reported cases this time last year. Health officials released the data Tuesday and said babies too young for vaccination and teens with waning protection were particularly at risk.

Pertussis rates range widely among counties, with Walla Walla, Jefferson and Kitsap counties reporting at least 34 per 100,000 people, and King County reporting only 2.7 cases per 100,000 people. Fifteen counties have seen no cases of pertussis.

An outbreak in 2012 ended with almost 5,000 reported cases and one death.

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  • Resident

    Those who bought the internet experts crying that the sky is falling if you vaccinate your kids are about to get their predicted outcome.

    • J. Tarbell-Brendel

      Measles and whooping cough are both air-borne. Keep all hand-washing done, use Kleenex, stay home w your babies! Think twice about skipping a vaccine. I am an RN in Walla Walla, who cares.