The whooping cough, or pertussis, epidemic of 2012 has continued into this year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its weekly report of cases of selected notifiable diseases on Feb. 22, for the week ending Feb. 16. In the first seven weeks of the year, the CDC has received reports of 1,667 cases of pertussis. The preliminary total number of whooping cough cases for 2012 is currently 41,880 but states such as Minnesota are reporting more cases than the CDC notes for the state.
Three states have reported over 100 cases of pertussis this year. New York has reported 118 cases, three from New York City and the rest from New York's remaining 57 counties. Wisconsin reports 115 whooping cough cases and Ohio reports 114.
Alaska is reporting 92 pertussis cases this year with 313 cases in all of 2012. Montana has seen 83 whooping cough cases thus far and saw 442 in 2012. Maine has 61 cases in 2013 and a total of 703 for 2012.
Three states reported over 4,000 pertussis cases in 2012. Based upon preliminary state data, Wisconsin had 6,332 cases of whooping cough in 2012. Washington ranked second, with 4,870 pertussis cases, and is reporting 83 cases in 2013.
Minnesota's data continues to vary from that at the CDC. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, they saw 4,485 pertussis cases in 2012, and have seen 141 cases of whooping cough in 2013. The CDC reports 2,183 cases for 2012 and zero for 2013.
The additional pertussis case numbers reported by these top three states bring the national total in 2012 to 44,786. As the various states and the CDC gather and verify their data, the case counts will become more reliable. Whooping cough remains a threat nationally, after a record setting year for illnesses in 2012. The final total will be nearly double the highs in 2004 and 2005 of over 25,000 each year but it will not be available for about 18 months.