SEATTLE — Health officials have declared an epidemic in Washington state following the worst outbreak of whooping cough in decades, according to the Star Advertiser.
Officials are also seeking help from federal experts and urging residents to get vaccinated as they worry that the number of cases of the highly contagious disease could spike even higher, the article stated.
According to the article, Washington is the first state to declare a whooping cough, or pertussis, epidemic since 2010, when California saw more than 9,000 cases, including 10 deaths; Washington has already seen 10 times the number of cases it reported in 2011.
Hospitals have been encouraged to vaccinate every adult who goes home with a new baby, and are urging businesses to encourage their employees to get the adult booster shot, the article noted.
Governor Christine Gregoire announced last week that the state is putting $90,000 into a public awareness campaign and diverting some federal money to pay for 27,000 doses of vaccine, the article added.
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