2012 Was The Worst Year For Whooping Cough In 6 Decades — Just Sayin’

shutterstock_122075773When I reflect back on the year of 2012 (as well as the year 2011), I recall a lot of vaccine conversations. If it wasn’t pediatricians threatening to “fire” families for refusing to comply with vaccination recommendations than families in Oregon were creating their own “alternative” vaccination schedules. No wonder vaccines rank high among the top 10 parenting controversies of 2012.

Well don’t look now, but 2012 was officially America’s worst year for whooping cough in almost six decades.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still “gathering information” on the uptick, with 42,000 cases reported in 2012. Yet, heath officials believe that number could end up being as high as 50,000, which is the most cases since 1955. Guys, that’s back when Dwight D Eisenhower was in office!

NBC reports that whooping cough tends to occur in “multi-year cycles” with last year exhibiting a very particular peak. Add to that that some new versions of the whooping cough vaccine aren’t all that effective, and you have quite the health concern.

All in all though, deaths from whopping cough were down. Only 18 in total. Some heath officials speculate that trusty doctors were quick to diagnose and treat patients during certain outbreaks. No fingers necessarily pointed at the anti-vaccine crowd this time around.

(photo: PhotographyByMK / Shutterstock)

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  • Mama

    The last sentence there is incorrect. While there are questions about the efficacy of the pertussis vaccine, the disease is back because people aren’t vaccinating. Herd immunity doesn’t exist.

    • Koa Beck

      Hi Mama. I’m referencing this particular reporting as not citing anti-vaxxers. I don’t doubt the cracks in herd immunity in the slightest.

    • Mama

      Ah, gotcha. I cringe to think that someone might think that not vaccinating didn’t lead to this problem somehow. It is terrifying.

    • Koa Beck

      Same. Thanks for reading!

  • Anne Cordelia

    This makes me SO FRIGGING ANGRY that I feel like my skin can’t control my rage. It’s such a bullshit, first world, created problem! Unreal. There are women in Africa who walk days just for the possibility that their child *might* get vaccinated, while entitled hipster moms are destroting the herd immunity here in the Sates. Disgusting.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Agreed. Parents: Unless YOUR child has a SPECIFIC reason not to get vaccinated (and no, “I read it was bad on the Internet” doesn’t count), do it for the good of everyone. I’m still missing some vaccines due to an immune issue, and if your snotrag gives me some dreadful disease that should have been eradicated in North America 20 years ago, you’ll have to go live on Bad Parent Island.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      Agreed. It’s unbelievable.

    • Blueathena623

      Hear hear!

  • LiteBrite

    I’d also like to point out that the vaccine doesn’t last forever; your kid will need a booster about 10 years later. (I think my doctor said around age 11, but the CDC says “adolescence.”) There are surprisingly quite a few people who don’t know that, and that’s part of the issue, at least it was in my city.

    Whooping Cough went around like wild fire in the public schools here too last year, and a friend of mine was freaked out (her kid wasn’t vaccinated). She asked me if I was concerned. Nope. My kid was vaccinated.

    • AP

      A huge problem with whooping cough is that the “new” formulation of the vaccine is weaker and requires more boosters than the old one. One of my coworkers- in her mid 20s- came down with whooping cough Spring 2012. She’d been vaccinated to schedule as a kid, and the immunity didn’t last as expected.

      My college town had an outbreak in 2006, and I had to do all the research on my own about adult boosters and even explain to the doctor which formulation of adult booster I needed, and why. Non-compliance with vaccinations is a huge problem, but so is an unwillingness of doctors to keep on top of adult booster schedules.

  • somethingobscure

    This makes me really sad and gives me even more of a reason to encourage everyone who is going to be spending time around my newborn to get the TDAP.

    I love vaccines!!!

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