CDC reports number of Whooping cough cases on rise - WKRN News 2

CDC reports number of Whooping cough cases on rise

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

According to the Centers for Disease Control, confirmed cases of Whooping cough are on the rise. In fact, 2012 could be the worst year for the disease since the 1950's.

The bacterial infection called Pertussis earned the onomatopoetic nickname Whooping cough due to the telltale sound of an infected person's cough.

"Pertussis, or Whooping cough can affect anyone of any age," explained Brian Todd of Metro Health Department, "But it's particularly dangerous for children of 18 months or younger."

Todd told Nashville's News 2 that Middle Tennessee isn't seeing the extreme rates of infection prevalent in Washington and Utah.

He credits Tennessee's success against the disease to an emphasis on vaccination.

Nashville's News 2 spoke with parent Aftin Swearingen, whose 10-month-old daughter Ava is suffering from a cough, but doctors tell her it isn't Whooping cough.

Swearingen wasn't sure about vaccinations, but she went ahead with it anyway, partly because it's required for all Tennessee schoolchildren.

"Any school she attends can require her to have the vaccinations, so I went ahead and had them done," said Swearingen.

So far this year, the Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 86 cases of Whooping cough statewide.

They admit that number is higher than the amount of cases reported last year, but tell Nashville's News 2 that such an increase is not out of the ordinary.

The Whooping cough vaccine is available at any Metro Health Department location.

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