Whooping cough still an epidemic in Washington

Published On: Jul 19 2012 07:06:35 PM PDT   Updated On: Jul 19 2012 07:28:46 PM PDT
Health officials concerned about whooping cough
SPOKANE, Wash. -

For months whooping cough has been called an epidemic in the state of Washington and health officials say it isn't going away.

So far this year there's been more than 3,000 cases of whooping cough in the state. As of Thursday, the Spokane Regional Health District says they've seen 106 cases in the county.

Last year during this time statewide there was only 219 cases; so far this year there have been 3,014 cases.

Health officials say the reason we've continued to see an uptick in cases is the fact that people aren't getting vaccinated.

The Spokane Regional Health District said they have 500 doses of the t-dap vaccine they are waiting to give out to pharmacies and health clinics in the Spokane area.

Most of the clinics still have plenty of vaccines they were originally given that's just waiting to get used.

The state has even asked if Spokane County needs more doses of the vaccine but as of now they've had to tell the state no since they have so much left. That's why they are urging both adults and kids to get vaccinated.

"This is s great opportunity to protect those people around you, especially those young children or women who are in their last trimester of pregnancy," Mark Springer with the Spokane Regional Health District said.

Often times when school is out, with a disease that is easily transmitted like whooping cough, you would see a drop but the number of cases have been fairly steady, health officials say. Part of that is because kids are still pretty active in camps and daycares.