Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

In 2012, Washington State experience a whooping cough epidemic that resulted in nearly 5,000 reported cases. These numbers are much higher that the reported cases in 2011 (965 cases).

Although the whooping cough epidemic is slowing down, Washington State resides are far from being immune. This is especially true for pregnant women and their babies, who remain vulnerable in getting the disease.

The Silence Whooping Cough campaign is running a contest for pregnant women and new parents to spread the word to frinds to get vaccinated. The contest is east to enter. Visit, enter your name and email. The prize is a year's worth of free diapers—a value of $1,000!

What is Pertussis?

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious bacterial infection that causes a long-lasting and often severe cough. Currently (Spring 2012), Washington State is experiencing an epidemic of whooping cough with disease rates higher than they have been in 60 years. The illness usually starts with mild cold symptoms or cough, which can turn into severe coughing spells followed by gagging, or vomiting and sometimes a "whoop" sound when trying to catch the breath. Infants with pertussis may eat poorly, turn blue, or stop breathing. Infants are also at highest risk for severe pertussis complications that require hospitalization such as difficulty breathing, pneumonia, convulsions, and even death.

Vaccination is the best prevention for whooping cough. The more people in the community that have immunity through vaccination, the less likely the disease is to spread. Kids and adults can get vaccinated to help stop outbreaks and lower the risk of infection to babies and others most likely to get severe cases of pertussis. Children younger than age seven get DTaP, which protects agains diptheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis. Anyone over age seven get Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diptheria and acellular pertussis.

Schools out. Now what? The risk of getting whooping cough continues during the summer time. Get the facts to help parents stop the spread of whooping cough.

Learn more about whooping cough: