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Washington State Declares Pertussis Outbreak an ‘Epidemic’

Posted by feww on May 22, 2012

Ten times more cases of Pertussis reported in 2012 than same period last year

Pertussis, aka whooping cough, is a highly infectious respiratory illness that can be deadly to young infants. The disease is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacterium, which spreads through coughing and sneezing [airborne droplets,] and has an incubation period of up to 14 days.

  • “There have been a total of 1,484 cases reported statewide through week 19, compared to 134 reported cases in 2011 during the same time period. Dates for the 2011/2012 comparison were based on LHJ notification date.” Washington State DOH reported.
  • Whooping cough affects about 50 million people globally each year and has a mortality rate of about 1 percent.

The overall incidence rate year to date is 22.0 pertussis cases per 100,000 Washington residents and the rate of disease in infants under one year of age, 114.1 per 100,000, remains higher than rates in all other age groups (see Table 2). This equates to an annualized overall rate of pertussis in Washington residents of 60.3 per 100,000 persons with a rate in infants of 312.2 per 100,000 should this trend continue throughout 2012. One hundred and one infants under one year of age were reported as having whooping cough and twenty-six of them were hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, twenty (77%) were very young (three months of age or younger).
Source: DOH 348-254 May 2012

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