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Whooping cough numbers highest since 2005

ATLANTA (AP) - Federal health officials say more than 21,000
people got whooping cough last year, many of them children and
teens. That's the highest number since 2005 and among the worst
years in more than 50 years.
The new numbers were reported at a vaccine advisory committee
meeting in Atlanta. Health experts are puzzled by the recent spike
in cases. The vaccine against whooping cough is highly effective in
children, and vaccination rates for kids are considered good.
The disease is very contagious and in rare cases can be fatal,
especially for babies too young to be vaccinated. Whooping cough
starts like a cold but leads to severe coughing that can last for
weeks.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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