CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming saw a four-fold increase in whooping cough cases last year.
Wyoming recorded 59 confirmed cases of whooping cough in 2012, up from 13 a year earlier, according to figures from state Health Department. The state averaged only 16 cases annually between 2007 and 2011.
Nine Wyoming counties did not record a case in 2012. Fremont County had the most with 14.
The increase mirrors a national trend. Most states reported at least double the number of whooping cough cases in 2012.
Whooping cough is a contagious respiratory disease characterized by severe coughing that can last for weeks.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Tracy Murphy tells the Casper Star-Tribune that the increase may be related to the vaccine losing its effectiveness over time but he says vaccination remains the best protection.
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com