Whooping Cough Cases Lower This Year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Whooping Cough Cases Lower This Year

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- After a record number of pertussis, or whooping cough, cases last year, thankfully, those numbers are much lower this year.

The alarming number of whooping cough cases last year pushed the state to start a campaign for the Tdap vaccination.

Those efforts were a success, but that doesn't mean the threat is gone.

Around 200 cases of whooping cough have been reported this year, compared to over 1,300 cases reported last year in the same time period.

The health scare prompted people to get the Tdap shot, but that vaccine wears off after a few years so the health district is urging people to stay current with their vaccinations to prevent another outbreak.

"I think we'll be safe this year. Unfortunately, the immunity from the pertussis immunization does wear off after a few years. I suspect we may see a resurgence in cases in the next three to five years," said Dr. Amy Person, Benton Franklin Health District.

So far this year, Yakima County has the highest rate of whooping cough cases.

Babies face the highest risk of infection. Health officials urge adults to protect young lives by getting vaccinated to make sure they don't pass the illness along.