Pertussis cases on the rise nationally

While health officials in California have reported the seventh infant death in the state this year, other states across the country are beginning to report an increase in pertussis whooping cough cases.

States that have reported increases in pertussis cases recently include Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas, CIDRAP News reports.

Michigan has seen an increase in pertussis cases since the end of 2008, the Michigan Department of Community Health revealed in a notice posted on its Web site. The state, as of July 27, has confirmed 512 cases of pertussis, compared with 315 cases in 2008 and 902 cases in all of 2009, CIDRAP News reports.

This year, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reports, 168 cases of pertussis have been confirmed, surpassing totals for each of the past four years.

The central part of Texas is also battling increasing cases of pertussis.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, there have been 7,342 provisional cases of pertussis, compared with 8,295 cases for 2009, CIDRAP News reports.

Arizona, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin, as well as upstate New York, are all expected to exceed last year's pertussis totals.

California health officials have speculated that possible gaps in tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine coverage may be play a part in the rise in pertussis cases. Officials have recommended an adolescent-adult Tdap booster for anyone older than seven who isn't fully vaccinated. The booster includes older people, women of childbearing age before, during, or after pregnancy, and anyone who has contact with pregnant women or infants.