Washington News Bureau

Whooping Cough surging across US, CDC reports 45 in Georgia

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cases of Whooping Cough, or pertussis, are on the rise.

There are nearly three times as many cases reported this year compared to 2023 in the U.S.

That includes 45 cases of Whooping Cough in Georgia, according to the CDC.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Nationally, the CDC said 4,800 cases were reported this year, compared to the nearly 1,750 cases last year.

The CDC said masking and virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic likely lowered the transmission of diseases like Whooping Cough, but many people also fell behind on their vaccinations during that time.


The agency said TDAP vaccines, which protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis, were far lower than normal during the pandemic, taking a substantial dip in 2020.

“It’s an infection in the throat and in lungs that, when you get it, you cough, and cough, and cough,” Dr. Robert Frenck told Channel 2 Washington Correspondent Candice Cole.

Frenck, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Director of Vaccine Research, is a pediatric disease expert. He said Whooping Cough is especially dangerous for babies.

“The problem is that within the first couple of years of life, babies can get very, very sick to the point of --they can even die from the pertussis. They certainly can be hospitalized. And that’s where the vaccine is very effective at preventing that severe disease and death,” Frenck said.

The CDC told Channel 2′s Washington News Bureau that whooping cough cases are returning to their pre-pandemic levels, or about 10,000 cases a year.

Doctors say to make sure kids are up to date with their TDAP shots and that pregnant women should also get vaccinated to protect their newborns.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough start like the common cold before turning into violent coughs that last for weeks. Severe cases can lead to fractured ribs, pneumonia and low oxygen levels, according to the CDC.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]


Comments on this article