Twice the number of whooping cough cases have been recorded compared to this time last year and the Indiana State Department of Health is investigating. Outbreak supervisor Shawn Richards says
“One, is what we’re seeing normal?” says Richards. “Two, are there epidemiological links to other schools or states?”
For the first half of the year, 136 cases of pertussis or whooping cough have been reported compared to 66 in 2016.
The state says the increase could be due to more cases being reported or a waning vaccine. Richards says it could also be something else.
“What we’re seeing right now could be a natural cycle of increase in cases because it does tend to cycle every three to five years,” Richards says.
The Indiana State Department of Health, like other states, reports cases to the CDC so it’s able to track trends. Richards encourages families to make sure vaccinations are up to date, especially as children head back to school.
“There are lots of nose and throat droplet transfers there at school and that’s how it is transferred,” Richards says.
Pregnant women are also urged to get vaccinations because pertussis is most dangerous for infants.