Whooping Cough on the Rise in Idaho


It's formally known as pertussis. Idaho's top epidemiologist warns that in the first six months of 2010, 77 cases of whooping cough have been diagnosed in the Gem State, compared to 45 for the same period last year.

Dr. Christine Hahn said there's great reason for concern and is urging families to keep their vaccinations up to date. "We know that in many cases, it's the mom, dad, grandparent, or sibling that infects the babies that end up getting so sick," she said.

According to Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare, about one in 20 infants with pertussis get pneumonia. About one in 100 infants will have convulsions. A current pertussis epidemic in California has caused six infant deaths in that state.