While the eyes of many across the region and nation are focused on the flu epidemic, another health issue is on the rise across America. The number of whooping cough cases in the nation hit a record high last year.
Pennsylvania also saw a higher than normal number of case last year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the state had 1,552 confirmed cases of whooping cough last year, along with nearly 300 probable cases. No specific numbers were available for Indiana County.
Federal officials say 41,800 cases of whooping cough were seen nationally last year, representing the highest total in nearly six decades. In 1955. nearly 63,000 cases of the illness were reported.
Whooping cough includes cold-like symptoms at the start, but then later it changes to include severe coughing and vomiting. A vaccine was introduced to in the 1940s, but it is not required in Pennsylvania.
That, in addition to the vaccine losing its effectiveness over the years, has led to the resurgence.