Source: Wall Street Journal
By: Bischof, Jackie
Physicians and health officials in New York are looking out for cases of pertussis to determine whether a recent uptick in cases is part of a normal cycle or is partially because of parents not having their children vaccinated. In the first six months of 2012, the state has seen 1,217 pertussis cases, compared to 970 for all of 2011. A nine-month outbreak in New York City resulted in 446 cases of the disease, ending in April. Usually the city only experiences about 200 cases per year, says the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Last year, three infants died in New York state last year from pertussis complications; one infant died in New York City from the most recent outbreak. The increased number of cases could be due, in part, to complacency toward the regular schedule of vaccinations, and adults not being aware of the need for a booster shot.