Posted on 26 July 2012
In a statement released last week, Senator Charles Schumer called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch an effort in New York and across the country to combat what he called “the startling rise” of cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
Whooping cough is a transmissible disease that can be caught by anyone, but is particularly dangerous in children. This year, the East Hampton School District released a statement to parents warning that a child had come down with whooping cough and detailing symptoms parents should look out for in their own children.
According to the CDC, the United States is headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than 50 years, and in New York, there has been a threefold increase in cases from 2011 to 2012.
According to Schumer, recent studies have suggested one of the causes of the increase is adults who are not vaccinated for whopping cough and are catching the disease and then transferring it to children.
Last week, Schumer called on the CDC to put in place a three-part plan to combat the disease in New York, working with the state health department to establish free vaccinations and booster shots. He also called for the creation of a public information campaign and urged the CDC to ensure there is an ample supply of the vaccination available nationwide.
“Whooping cough is rearing its ugly head and we need to get on top of this highly contagious disease before it becomes too big to control,” said Schumer. “It is not simply a nuisance, it can be deadly.”