Washington State Health Secretary Mary Selecky declared a whooping cough (also called pertussis) epidemic on April 3. According to the Washington State Department of Health, about 1,280 people already have the illness, and these numbers could nearly double by the end of the year.
According to the Associated Press, state officials strongly urge those who have not been vaccinated to go get the shot.
People of any age can get pertussis, but infants are especially prone and more likely to have complications. Health officials are concerned about keeping infants and young children away from pertussis, so it’s important for those who are around children on a regular basis to get vaccinated.
Since South Puget Sound Community College has a child care center on campus, it is important for students to get vaccinated. However, there are controversies surrounding vaccinations, and some people may choose not to get vaccinated. Those who choose not to get vaccinated should take an extra precaution to stay healthy.
The state set aside money to get free vaccinations to those without health insurance for those who have not been vaccinated and are concerned about the cost.