Idaho health officials regularly renew their call for immunizations in the shadow of pertusis—commonly known as whooping cough. Dozens of whooping cough cases have been reported in Idaho this year, including one case in May, when a 9-week-old girl died from the respiratory disease.
Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that whooping cough may be rising to national epidemic levels. According to the CDC, there have been more than 18,000 cases of whooping cough in the United States thus far in 2012, double the number of last year at this time.
"We would need to go back to 1959 to find as many cases reported by this time in the year," said Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
The report on the rise of the illness was noted in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by the CDC.