Health Officials: Whooping Cough on the Rise in NM

Nov 23, 2012

Health officials are warning that whooping cough is on the rise in New Mexico.

Albuquerque television station KOB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/10lO2AP) that more than 670 cases have been confirmed by the state Health Department. Two of those cases — a 2-month-old girl in San Miguel County and a 4-month-old boy in Bernalillo County — were fatal.

New Mexico ranks 10th in the nation with about 27 cases for every 100,000 people. That's three times the national average.

Health officials say the answer is immunization.

John Iacuone, a doctor with Lovelace Health Plan, says today's recommendations even call for adults to get booster shots. He says adults could act as carriers of the illness.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial illness that attacks the respiratory system.