Number of Pertussis Cases Reported by Week, Maine 2011 vs. 2012
Reports of cases of pertussis infection in Maine have more than tripled, from 202 in 2011 to 701 so far this year.
Source: Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

December 21, 2012

Whooping cough cases more than triple in Maine

Cases have exploded since 2011, rising from 202 to 701, and health officials are urging Mainers to get vaccinated.

By Kelley Bouchard kbouchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Today's poll: Whooping cough

Have you immunized your family against whooping cough?

Yes

No

View Results

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Also known as pertussis, whooping cough is a bacterial respiratory infection characterized by persistent coughing fits that are marked by high-pitched “whooping” sounds. Before immunization became widespread in the 1940s, most children developed whooping cough; 150,000 to 260,000 cases were reported annually.

Infection Rates
Whooping cough or pertussis is most dangerous for infants, but cases this year in Maine have been most common among children ages 9 to 11, when vaccine effectiveness can wane without keeping a strict immunization schedule. Larger outbreaks of the disease have occurred in several counties, including Penobscot, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Somerset and York.
 
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Source: Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

"All infants, pregnant women and anyone around them should be immunized," Sears said.

Pertussis vaccinations, which also immunize against diphtheria and tetanus, are readily available through primary care practices and health clinics. Ask a doctor about health conditions that may preclude immunization.

U.S. Reported Pertussis Cases
Reports of whooping cough or pertussis infection are up this year across the United States, where incidence of the disease has nearly doubled from 18,719 in 2011 to 40,411 as of last week. That's the highest U.S. figure since 1959, when 40,000 cases were reported.
*Cases reported through 12/15/12
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

kbouchard@pressherald.com

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Today's poll: Whooping cough

Have you immunized your family against whooping cough?

Yes

No

View Results