Childhood Diseases: Whooping Cough

Despite the rarity of the cases of whooping cough globally, there have been recent outbreaks which challenge the effectiveness of its vaccines. The recent case of Whooping Cough outbreak in the US was on July 14, 2015, in Clark County, Washington State as a reemergence of the 2012 outbreak. The recent outbreak affected Clark County, and the seriousness of the epidemic is evident from health officials’ declaration that the eleven-fold increment in the pertussis outbreak in Washington surpassed the outbreak levels (Larsen, 2016). During the 2015 outbreak, Clark County alone registered 240 patients with whooping cough, and the figure mirrored the county’s 2012 outbreak. By April 2015, the total number of reported cases statewide were 387 while by April 2014, there were only 85 individuals with Whooping Cough. The 2015 figure indicated that Clark County registered 14% of the outbreak cases and significant increment from 2014 where there were only 21 whooping cough cases across the Washington (Larsen, 2016). According to Washington Department of Health, 2015 outbreak is the second critical situation in the state after the 2012 scenario where more than 5,000 cases since by April 2015, the figure surpassed 860 individuals. While there were still some cases reported in 2016 across Washington State the severity is not comparable to 2015 since by December 2016, there were only 566 cases of Whooping Cough while in the same period in 2015, the figure was 1,356 (Washington State Department of Health, 2016). Whooping cough is common among children as evident from the case of Clark County 2015 outbreak where 80% of the victims were children. Despite the state health sector vaccinating children, the effectiveness of the medication reduces with time hence the resurgence of the epidemic.


Larsen, A. (2016, July 2015). Pacific Northwest Battles Whooping Cough. Retrieved from Health Map Organization:

WashingtonStateDepartmentofHealth. (2016). Weekly pertussis update for Washington State. Washington Dc: Washington State Department of Health.