State to be featured in news show about pertussis

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Washington state will be featured in the 6 p.m. showing of “PBS NewsHour” today. The episode will examine some of the factors driving the worst whooping cough outbreak in the U.S. in the last five years. Washington — which declared an official epidemic earlier this year — will be the show’s poster child for how “waning immunity” to the disease, a new adult booster shot and vaccine skepticism may be playing into this year’s outbreak.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 21,000 cases of whooping cough have been reported this year, twice the number reported last year, with particularly severe outbreaks in this state, plus Wisconsin, Minnesota and New York. The disease has killed 13 people , all of them infants, since the start of the year.

“PBS NewsHour” can be viewed on stations KCTS and KTNW. For more information go to www.pbs.org.

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