According to preliminary government figures, the nation is suffering its worst year for whooping cough in six decades.
Experts say that the year 2012 has reached a peak with 41,880 cases. Experts also say that the vaccine that has been used since the 1990’s doesn’t last as long as the old one.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that last year whooping cough cases were high in 48 states and very high in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Vermont. Whooping cough deaths, however, did not increase (18 people died).
Whooping cough is a disease that is highly contagious. It is dangerous to children mostly, but anyone can get it.
Children are usually vaccinated with five doses, with the first one given at two months old. A booster shot is recommended around the age of eleven or twelve years.
Health officials are deciding if they should strengthen the vaccine, recommend another booster shot, or make an entirely new one.