More than 21,000 U.S. residents were diagnosed with whooping cough in 2010, the most since 2005 and one of the highest rates in 50 years, according to preliminary data released by CDC on Wednesday, USA Today reports.
California reported 8,300 cases of whooping cough, the most of any states. At least 26 U.S. residents died of whooping cough in 2010, including 10 infants in California.
CDC officials were unsure of the causes of the increase because the whooping cough vaccine is highly effective in children and vaccination rates are high. Approximately 95% of U.S. children have received the three-shot series to vaccinate against whooping cough. However, because the vaccine was not licensed until 2005, many adolescents and adults are not fully immunized.
CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that adults who are around infants be vaccinated against whooping cough. On Wednesday, ACIP voted to alter those recommendations to suggest that health care professionals also get the vaccine (USA Today, 2/23).