Washington sees 6 times more cases of whooping cough than same time last year

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VANCOUVER, Washington — Health officials are worried about the 300 cases of whooping cough that have been reported in Washington state so far this year.

The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/1IBHSkS) a health advisory was issued for Clark County, which includes the city of Vancouver. More than 50 cases have been reported there, surpassing the total for the entire state at the same time in 2014.

An outbreak in 2012 ended with almost 5,000 reported cases and one death.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is highly contagious and can lead to pneumonia or seizures for infants. Federally-mandated vaccinations make contracting the illness less likely, but about 5 percent of children in the state are currently exempt. Clark County's exemption rate is between 5 and 9 percent.

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