Whooping cough is making a comeback. A disease that most of us have only encountered through fiction or stints playing the computer game Oregon Trail is actually a real threat, with around 41,880 cases of whooping cough diagnosed in the United States last year. While we’ve known whooping cough has been making a comeback for some time, and 2012 was the worst year for whooping cough since 1955.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released these numbers on Friday, noting that while whooping cough is worse during some years and barely noticeable during others, cases of the disease have been popping up more often in recent years, hitting a six-decade high in 2012. With an existing vaccine, what could be the reason behind the whooping cough expansion?

CBS Detroit spoke to a Beverly Hills Pediatrician, Doctor John Dorsey, who says there are likely several reasons that whooping cough is making a comeback. The first is that the vaccine is wearing off on adults who were given the vaccine as children. When that happens, parents can give the disease to their kids.

Another possibility is a rise in the number of parents who are worried about the autism scare and are not vaccinating their children, who then are more susceptible to the disease. Finally, since whooping cough is not as common as it has been throughout history, it can take a while to diagnose and in the interim people may pass along the disease. Whatever the reasons may be, keep your eyes peeled and your children vaccinated, because whooping cough is back, and it’ll fight hard to keep you coughing.

Photo credit @Shutterstock/OKSun



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